Help for heart patients while traveling

Help for heart patients while traveling

Heart patients are naturally particularly concerned about their “most important organ”. Especially if you have already had a heart attack and don’t want to take any more risks. Especially not when they go on vacation and – depending on the destination – the quality of medical care is difficult to assess. For this group, medically supervised vacation trips are an alternative to the not entirely voluntary vacation on “balconies”.

Travel with a doctor.

For heart patients who want to go on holiday without fear after a heart attack or a bypass operation worries, two tour operators in Cologne and Würzburg offer travel programs with medical supervision. The vacationers are looked after around the clock by doctors whom the German Heart Foundation mediates, and the emergency equipment is always with them. Qualified specialists almost always offer gymnastics, relaxation exercises, and heart seminars on the way or directly at the holiday location. The holiday trips are carefully tailored to the wishes and needs of people with heart disease. They offer a high degree of security thanks to the medical support. Destinations include the Algarve, Sicily, La Palma and Tenerife. River cruises on the Danube and Rhone and cruises in the Mediterranean and Black Sea can also be booked. Further information on the individual travel destinations is available from the German Heart Foundation. Addresses of rehabilitation clinics for cardiovascular diseases are also available there, and they offer holiday packages in addition to rehabilitation.


Emergency phrasebook of the German Heart Foundation

Every minute counts, not only in the case of a heart attack but also in other heart emergencies; help must be summoned immediately. This can be particularly problematic when travelling abroad, as a lack of language skills leads to misunderstandings and thus prevents timely help. So that heart patients can still travel to foreign countries without worrying, the German Heart Foundation is offering a free phrasebook for the second time, which contains the most critical medical formulations for heart emergencies and fits into every wallet. Around 40 sentences such as “Please call the emergency services immediately”, “Where is the nearest doctor?” or “I have severe shortness of breath” are translated into Greek, Portuguese, Russian, Polish and Czech in the new volume.

Good planning in advance

The German Heart Foundation advises all heart patients to talk to their doctor about the destination country beforehand so that emergencies do not arise in the first place while on vacation or business trips. Only some regions are equally suitable for cardiac patients. Hot areas, in particular, can strain the circulatory system and provoke heart problems. Locations with an emergency clinic that can be reached quickly and offers state-of-the-art treatment are also advantageous; for example, so-called cardiac catheterization or thrombolysis techniques are available. It would help if you also inquired about the medical emergency number of the respective destination before you leave so as not to lose valuable time in an emergency.


Some tips for a successful trip

  • In principle, every heart patient should discuss their holiday plans with the doctor treating them. General rules can hardly be established.
  • Before a long-distance flight, cardiac patients must consult their doctor to determine whether the stress is acceptable and how the risks can be minimized.
  • People who have had heart surgery should avoid flying for a few weeks. The doctor decides what times are necessary in the individual case.
  • Heart patients should arrive early and avoid physical exertion to avoid stress at the airport.
  • Do not stow medicines in your suitcase, but keep them easily accessible in your hand luggage so that they can be taken during the flight at the usual times.
  • You should take it slow and relaxed at your holiday destination and get used to the unfamiliar climate first.
  • Always carry the emergency preparations and phrase book, even on holiday.

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