Most tourists are frightened of a medical emergency occurring while they are traveling far from home. The good news is the frequency of tourists requiring medical care while traveling is low.

Tourists requiring medical treatment:
Outpatient treatment - 1 per 1,000 trips
Hospital admission - 1 per 2,000 trips
Medical evacuation - 1 per 4,000 trips

Air travel can increase the risk of developing blood clots in the veins of the legs, which can then enter the bloodstream and block an artery in the lungs, a condition called pulmonary embolism. In some cases, the blood clot to enter the arteries of other vital organs including the brain, causing a stroke.

Here are important ways to prepare for a trip abroad:

  • ​See your doctor before you fly – make sure you are in good shape for the kind of trip you are planning
  • Purchase and wear compression socks – these socks can significantly reduce your risk for developing blood clots
  • Check your medical insurance – if it does not include sufficient medical coverage while abroad, purchase supplemental insurance from an independent supplier
  • No matter what, get travel insurance.
  • Know the local emergency medical service number
  • Carry your health information with you – allergies, medication list, chronic health issues, any information you think may be important in case of a medical emergency. Remember that any doctor who sees you will not know a thing about your medical history.This document should fill in the gaps.