Thanks to Sandra, Dawn (centre) and Mike for an enjoyable and interesting meeting.
Huge thanks to Dawn (cardiac Nurse Specialist) for organising the Holiday Leaflet information for us.
Going on holiday, whether in the UK or abroad, is an important part of enjoying life; so we thought it would be helpful to provide some practical tips to ensure your holiday goes well!
BEFORE YOU GO …..
It is recommended that you have had an up-to-date ICD/CRT-D device check within the past six months.
*Choose a sensible destination
Travelling to undeveloped countries is not recommended but of course it is your choice.
Familiarise yourself with Medtronic company website http://www.medtronic.com/traveling/
which lists various ICD/CRT-D clinics and hospitals throughout the world.
- Travel Vaccinations
Familiarise yourself with http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/vaccinations/Pages/Thevaccines.aspx
Discuss your planned holiday with your practice nurse.
Ring NHS direct.
This is essential. You should have up-to-date travel insurance. Tell the insurance company about all of your medical history including your ICD/CRT-D device and any current health issues.
The BHF has a list of sympathetic insurance companies but you are advised to get quotes from several companies as the costs can vary greatly (bhf.org.uk).
Local Company: 4surewales.co.uk
7 Glebeland St, Merthyr Tydfil, CF47 8AU
If travelling within the EU remember to carry your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The EHIC replaced the old E111 in 2006.
This entitles you to state healthcare at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. It will cover you for treatment that is needed to allow you to continue your stay until your planned return. It also covers you for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions and for routine maternity care, as long as you’re not going abroad with the intention of giving birth in that country.
The EHIC is valid in all European Economic Area (EEA) countries, including Switzerland. You can apply for a free EHIC online or at your local post office. For more information look at https://www.gov.uk/european-health-insurance-card
PACK WISELY: IN ADDITION TO YOUR BIKINI AND SPEEDOS REMEMBER TO PACK YOUR ….
*ICD/CRT-D Identification Card
You will need to show this at security barriers and if you are unwell whilst abroad it will give the hospital doctor important details about your device. Keep a copy in your handbag or wallet. Keep a copy in your hand luggage. Keep a copy in your suitcase
Take a copy of your current prescription with you.
Ensure you pack enough tablets to cover the duration of your holiday and any potential delay.
Just in case your luggage is lost; it is wise to pack half of the medication in your hand luggage and half in your suitcase.
It’s a good idea to write down your medical history and make a note of your tablets and what time of day you take them. Should you be admitted to hospital as an emergency, this information will be extremely useful to the hospital doctor.
There is no need to take your home monitoring system on holiday with you – please leave it at home.
AT THE AIRPORT AND WHILST TRAVELLING …..
*Allow plenty of time for your airport journey and walking to the departure lounge. If you feel that you will need assistance, remember to book it in advance.
*Diuretics [Water tablets]
If you usually take these, think about the best time to take them allowing for your travelling times.
Airport Security Gates
Generally we advise that you avoid the metal archway security gates. However, if you are instructed to use the airport security gate, just walk through the archway at a normal pace and move away from the system if you feel any dizziness or rapid heartbeats.
Airport security systems are metal detectors, so the alarm may sound when it detects the metal case of your heart device. Show your ICD/CRT-D identification card to the security staff as often they will provide a manual search or use the scanning wand device. If they use the wand, ask that they only do one “sweep” across your ICD/CRT-D.
Increasingly, airports are introducing ‘body scanners’ and these are completely safe for you to use.
AT YOUR DESTINATION …..
*Remember to take your tablets as prescribed.
*Keep hydrated especially if you have an upset tummy!!! It’s important that you prevent salt imbalance induced arrhythmias. It’s a good idea to take some dioralyte sachets with you as a precaution.
*Patients who have been diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome or Brugada Syndrome should be extra cautious of:
– Excessive Alcohol
– Recreational Drugs
– Diarrhoea & Vomiting
– High Temperature
- Patients prescribed Amiodarone
It’s important that you use high factor sunscreen when outdoors, even in cloudy weather! Consider the need for a hat.
*If you go to any local pharmacy for medication, remember to tell the pharmacist/doctor about your ICD/CRT-D device and any underlying heart conditions.
Travelling with an ICD/CRT-D should not be difficult and we encourage you to return to your normal lifestyle. Therefore have a great time and remember to send us a postcard!