Know What To Do If A Heart Attack Happens While Traveling

Will Rogers once said: "When I die, I want to die like my grandfather, who died peacefully in his sleep. Not screaming like all the passengers in his car." According to a paper presented at the European Society of Cardiology, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of natural death among people who are traveling.

So as you head out for a spring break or a weekend adventure, if you're one of the 15 million Americans with coronary heart disease or in the 78 million with high blood pressure, don't ignore heart attack symptoms while away from home. Symptoms include pain in the chest, throat, neck, back, stomach or shoulders that lasts for more than 15 minutes. In addition, women commonly experience unusual fatigue, shortness of breath and sweating.

What to do:

- The American Heart Association recommends letting your doctors know where you'll be headed. They might know physicians or reputable heart institutes in the area if help is needed.

- Always make sure you have your medications with you (and updated) as well as your cardiologist's phone number.

- Have local emergency numbers at hand, and when abroad, phrases you may need to communicate a medical emergency.

- Did you know your local medical center and some credit card companies offer a global emergency evacuation policy that you can purchase prior to traveling?

As a presenter at the 2019 ESC congress said, "Our study shows that long-term outcomes after a heart attack while traveling can be good if you get prompt treatment."

© 2019 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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