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What if You Have Heart Failure and Want to Travel Abroad?

According to the British Heart Foundation there are around 920,000 people in the UK living with heart failure – the condition that is also known as congestive heart failure, which happens when your heart muscles do not pump blood as well as they should.

Narrowed arteries, also known as coronary heart disease, and high blood pressure can all contribute to heart failure, which can lead to cardiac arrest.

Before you book a relaxing holiday abroad, contact your doctor to ensure you are fit to travel, even if you are well and your condition is being managed by medication.

Then call Direct-Travel’s helpful UK-based call centre where one of our team will take you through the medical screening process to ensure we obtain the right cover for you and your family. You can also access us online where you can go through our easy-to-use medical screening for pre-existing conditions.

It is vital that you tell us all of your pre-existing conditions. If you had to access medical treatment while you were away and had forgotten to tell us about those conditions you may not be covered, which would mean you having to pay for the treatment yourself. Write a list of them before you contact us so you don’t forget.

Our insurance policies will provide you with a 24-hour medical helpline; expenses for having to use an ambulance; hospital costs and repatriation to the UK should the unthinkable happen.

Here are some tips before you travel:

  • If you know you are going to be staying at an altitude of more than 2,000 metres above sea level this may have an impact on your condition and you should discuss this with your doctor
  • Watch out for extreme weather conditions that could affect your heart. If you know you are going to be in extreme heat ensure you are well hydrated and stay out of the sun between 11 and 3pm. For a destination in the extreme cold, make sure you have plenty of warm drinks, eat hot food regularly and keep wrapped up, especially your extremities
  • According to the British Heart Foundation, people with heart and circulatory disease can travel by air safely but it is worth advising your airline in case they want to take added precautions
  • Check out the British Cardiovascular Society’s document on Fitness to Fly for more information
  • Avoid using a Jacuzzi or spa bath while you are away as this can put added pressure on your heart
  • Take copies of all the medical documents you think you might need and more than enough medication for your trip and longer

Have a wonderful time away and take care.