executive-travel-assistant-all-things-medical-no-title

All Things Medical!

Be prepared for all things medical!
Make sure you have complied with your company’s travel policy and any other requirements.
If you travel frequently, make an annual appointment with a travel medical specialist to keep you prepared and protected. The “all things medical” section is about the basic functional support you need to set up for your travelling lifestyle, what

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Be prepared for all things medical!

Make sure you have complied with your company’s travel policy and any other requirements.

If you travel frequently, make an annual appointment with a travel medical specialist to keep you prepared and protected. The “all things medical” section is about the basic functional support you need to set up for your travelling lifestyle, what to do and how.

Make sure your employer has a copy of your next of kin details in case of emergency. This should be included in your Company’s travel policy if you work for an employer. A next of kin is important because perhaps this is not the obvious person. Think about who you want to get the call in case of an emergency. It may be your partner but perhaps it is another relative or close friend who is more able to then inform your partner in a respectful and supportive way should something go wrong.

Hot Tip:

Did you know that 18% of Australian Traveller lose at least 1 day of their trip due to illness (Source: The Travel Doctor: TMVC Welcome Home Survey)

Hot Tip:

Carry your drugs, especially prescription drugs with you in your carry-on luggage, especially on long distance flights.

You may need them on the flight. If your baggage gets lost, you will certainly need them. Interrupting a prescription course of drugs will only add to the stress of your travel (and may be harmful to your health)

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    Vaccinations and Travel Medical Centers

    International travel often means required and recommended vaccinations and travel medical centers are the best place to help you with this. Specialist travel medical centers can advise and administer the vaccinations or other prescribed medicine (eg malaria tablets) that are required and recommended by country prior to your departure. Your travel agent will also know what is required and recommended.

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    International travel often means required and recommended vaccinations and travel medical centers are the best place to help you with this. Specialist travel medical centers can advise and administer the vaccinations or other prescribed medicine (eg malaria tablets) that are required and recommended by country prior to your departure. Your travel agent will also know what is required and recommended. These medications often require you to take them or have them administered several days or weeks ahead of time. This is to allow the medication to work effectively so you need to be prepared. A regular approach to managing your health while you travel is as important as you regular health management approach.

    The best approach is to go to a specialist travel medical center that deals with travel medicine day in day out. All the major cities in the world have these medical centers. Make an annual appointment to talk to the doctor about where you are likely to be going in the coming year. Also talk about any issues you have had while traveling in the prior year. They can provide destination specific advice on health risks that you might encounter and how to minimize these risks. They will have readily available stocks of all vaccinations and medications for travel. They can give general advice on managing medical issues and how that relates to travelling (eg the impact of travelling on your existing health issues). They will be able to advise you on jetlag management, deep vein thrombosis management and other travel associated health issues. Click through to Staying Healthy In the Air, for further information on staying healthy in the air.

    Your specialist travel medical center will be able to give you the vaccinations and other medication while you are there. They will also give you prescriptions for anything else that they recommend that you take with respect to travel. This may seem obvious however, a regular medical center is not likely to have all these medications available and you may need to go to a pharmacy/drug store which may need to order them in, thus requiring two or three visits.

    International Certificate of Vaccinations

    When you receive vaccinations, ask for an “International Certificate of Vaccinations”. This is a booklet that highlights the vaccinations you have had and the date by which you need to have your next vaccination or booster shot. It is internationally recognized by governments globally and the World Health Organization. The “International Certificates of Vaccinations” is a good tool for the following reasons:

    • In the case of some diseases, eg Yellow Fever, Immigration will not let you into the country without proof of having had the vaccination. The “International Certificate of Vaccinations”  signed and stamped by the doctor who administered the vaccination is the official certification that you have had the required dosages.
    • Even when the vaccinations are recommended, not required by law, the “International Certificate of Vaccination” is the globally recognized document for this.
    • Vaccinations last varying time periods so the “International Certificate of Vaccinations” is the best way for you to keep track of the several vaccinations you will be having (depending on where you are going).
    • This is a useful tool if you do fall ill and go to a hospital or medical center in a foreign country. It will indicate all the details the attending physician requires.
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      Flu Shot

      Keep fit and healthy includes scheduling flu shot. For business travelers, this is critical. Once per year you should make sure you add flu shot as a regular activity. The flu vaccine is required annually to keep up with the mutations of the virus.
      Flu shot is most important for business travelers who are burning the candle at both ends,

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      Keep fit and healthy includes scheduling flu shot. For business travelers, this is critical. Once per year you should make sure you add flu shot as a regular activity. The flu vaccine is required annually to keep up with the mutations of the virus.

      Flu shot is most important for business travelers who are burning the candle at both ends, experiencing jet lag while changing time zones and because of the close proximity you are to other passengers for long hours. Business travelers are working hard, socializing and traveling at a fast pace of often across days or even weeks which is challenging for the immune system. Not enough sleep is a key driver or this. Secondly, if you are travelling across several time zones, the propensity for jetlag increases. With that the effects of lack of sleep will challenge the immune system. Also if you are travelling on aircraft and trains for long distance and long duration, you will be sitting in close proximity to other passengers who may not be well. The likelihood of catching illness from fellow passengers increases.

      Get the flu shot on an annual basis. Put it in your calendar. Add it to the list of vaccinations you have through your travel medical specialist.

      For more information, click here

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        pocket-medical-guide

        The Travelers Pocket Medical Guide

        There is a publication that is available called “The Traveler’s Pocket Medical Guide” by Dr Jonathan Cohen. This guide outlines requirements, information and advice on all things medical for travelers. It covers a number of common medical issues that arise when travelling and how to address them. A copy of this guide is available in travel medical centers or can

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        There is a publication that is available called “The Traveler’s Pocket Medical Guide” by Dr Jonathan Cohen. This guide outlines requirements, information and advice on all things medical for travelers. It covers a number of common medical issues that arise when travelling and how to address them. A copy of this guide is available in travel medical centers or can be ordered online Click through to order site

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          executive-travel-assistant-all-things-medical-medical-kits

          Medical Kits

          Specialist travel medical centers commonly have medical kits for sale. Depending on where you are traveling there is a kit for you. There are basic kits with basic medications to full blown kits for travel to remote areas. For example if you are travelling to remote Africa, you need to take syringes, water purification tablets, diarrhea medication, swabs, bandages, and

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          Specialist travel medical centers commonly have medical kits for sale. Depending on where you are traveling there is a kit for you. There are basic kits with basic medications to full blown kits for travel to remote areas. For example if you are travelling to remote Africa, you need to take syringes, water purification tablets, diarrhea medication, swabs, bandages, and prescription medications for common ailments like antibiotics and many more.

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            executive-travel-assistant-all-things-medical-basic-medications

            Basic Travel Medications

            Ask you specialist travel doctor what you should take with you but there are some basic travel medications which will address the most likely ailments you will encounter on your travels. Here is a list to help you be prepared.

            Suggested Over-the-Counter Medicines

            Pain Killers
            Headaches, Fevers, etc

            Throat Lozenges

            Cold

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            Ask you specialist travel doctor what you should take with you but there are some basic travel medications which will address the most likely ailments you will encounter on your travels. Here is a list to help you be prepared.

            Suggested Over-the-Counter Medicines
            Pain KillersHeadaches, Fevers, etc
            Throat Lozenges
            Cold and Flu Medication
            Nose running Medication
            Gastro Medications
            Diarrhea Medication
            Hay Fever/Allergy Drugs
            VitaminsMultivitamin (even if you do not regularly take vitamins, it may be a good idea to take while you are travelling – consult your doctor)

            Click here to download a soft copy.

            Note: Codeine based pain killers are illegal in some countries. It is illegal to sell and to import these in countries including UAE. You do not want to be stopped at the border for something like this. Consult your doctor, but pain killers like ibuprofen or aspirin are more widely accepted globally.

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              Prescription Medication for Travel

              Specific prescription medication for travel can be recommended by your specialist travel doctor or regular doctor. It may include sleeping tablets (for jetlag and time zone management), malaria tablets (if you are travelling to an area that is predisposed to malaria) and a broad spectrum antibiotic.
              The airline bags that are provided when traveling (sometimes in business class and economy)

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              Specific prescription medication for travel can be recommended by your specialist travel doctor or regular doctor. It may include sleeping tablets (for jetlag and time zone management), malaria tablets (if you are travelling to an area that is predisposed to malaria) and a broad spectrum antibiotic.

              The airline bags that are provided when traveling (sometimes in business class and economy) are useful for packing these in.

              Hot Tip:

              Carry your drugs, especially prescription drugs with you in your carry-on luggage, especially on long distance flights.

              You may need your medication on the flight and if your baggage gets lost, you will certainly need them. Interrupting a prescription course of drugs will only add to the stress of your travel (and may be harmful to your health).

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                executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-cabin-pressure-discomfort

                Cabin Pressure Discomfort

                Cabin pressure discomfort is an issue for some passengers. If you suffer from sinus, upper respiratory infections and other cardiovascular conditions, you will be more likely to be affected. Cabins are pressurized to an altitude of up to 2500 metres to ensure that the outside air drawn into the cabin is sufficient density for health and comfort. If you suffer

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                Cabin pressure discomfort is an issue for some passengers. If you suffer from sinus, upper respiratory infections and other cardiovascular conditions, you will be more likely to be affected. Cabins are pressurized to an altitude of up to 2500 metres to ensure that the outside air drawn into the cabin is sufficient density for health and comfort. If you suffer from nasal congestion or allergies, use the medications that you would normally use (sprays, antihistamines, decongestants) 30 minutes prior to take off and descent.

                “Clearing your ears” is the term used for equalizing pressure. Try swallowing and yawning to clear your Eustachian tubes. If you have a medical condition that warrants supplemental oxygen, this can be ordered to be available on the plane. Most airlines require notice of this.

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                  Motion Sickness

                  Motion sickness can be experienced by some passengers. It is a conflict between the body’s sense of vision and it sense of equilibrium. Some people are more susceptible to this than others and increased turbulence can enhance the likelihood of experiencing motion sickness. Trying to focus on a fixed or non-moving object will assist in minimizing this. For example. during

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                  Motion sickness can be experienced by some passengers. It is a conflict between the body’s sense of vision and it sense of equilibrium. Some people are more susceptible to this than others and increased turbulence can enhance the likelihood of experiencing motion sickness. Trying to focus on a fixed or non-moving object will assist in minimizing this. For example. during daylight hours, try to focus on the horizon, the sea or the ground. Over-the-counter medications can also assist you to minimize the effects of motion sickness so make sure you discuss this with your doctor or the specialist medical center. There is always a “sick bag” in the seat pocket in front of you if you need it. Press the call button for the flight attendant to take it away and replace it.

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                    executive-travel-assistant-all-things-medical-the-medication-that-you-take-at-home

                    Regular Medication you take at Home

                    Remember the regular medication you take at home. Make sure you have enough to cover your whole trip and maybe a couple of extra days in case you stay longer than anticipated. If you are abroad, the drugs may not be available in the country that you are traveling to or they may not be easily recognizable as they may

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                    Remember the regular medication you take at home. Make sure you have enough to cover your whole trip and maybe a couple of extra days in case you stay longer than anticipated. If you are abroad, the drugs may not be available in the country that you are traveling to or they may not be easily recognizable as they may have different brand names. Also, what is an over-the-counter drug in one country may be a prescribed drug in another which may necessitate seeing a doctor if you need to get a prescription.

                    Hot Tip:

                    Some drugs may not have been approved by the local drug authorities and so you could be bringing in drugs not available in the country you are visiting.

                    For international travel, it is imperative that you leave all drugs (prescription and over-the-counter drugs) in the original packaging and if they are prescription drugs that you have a letter from your doctor outlining what they are and why you take that drug.

                    This cannot be stressed enough. Imagine flying into an Asian country with strict drug laws and trying to explain to the immigration and customs officials your bag with a jumble of drugs in it!

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                      executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-jetlag

                      Jetlag

                      Jetlag is the discomfort that most travelers experience especially after long distance flights and those that cross several time zones. Some symptoms include tiredness and irritability, swollen limbs, especially legs, red/dry eyes, disorientation or irregular sleep patterns. They will vary by individual.
                      It is caused by the disruption of the timing of the biological functions in your body including when

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                      Jetlag is the discomfort that most travelers experience especially after long distance flights and those that cross several time zones. Some symptoms include tiredness and irritability, swollen limbs, especially legs, red/dry eyes, disorientation or irregular sleep patterns. They will vary by individual.

                      It is caused by the disruption of the timing of the biological functions in your body including when you sleep or eat. Darkness stimulates the release of the hormone melatonin which is produced by cells in the brain that control these functions. When you cross time zones your “body clock” is thrown out as your body experiences day and night at the “wrong” time. The chemical imbalance causes the symptoms.

                      The duration of the symptoms will depend on how far you have traveled, how many time zones you crossed, what your general health was going into the flight. Of course how well your particular body adapts to the new time zone will also be a impact duration.

                      There are a million remedies and ideas around managing jetlag. Just take a look at the counter at the pharmacy at an international airport!

                      Speak to your doctor and the travel medical specialist but what they will all tell you in common is:

                      • Fly west when you want the least impact from jetlag
                      • Treat your body well prior to departing – get plenty of exercise prior to traveling so you are physically tired (but not mentally tired) when you get on board
                      • Drinks lost of water on the flight
                      • Do not overeat on the flight
                      • Get up from your seat and move around as much as possible
                      • Minimise the consumption of alcohol (or better still do not drink it!)
                      • Try to get onto the new time zone as quickly as possible. On the flight is the best place to get started. Try to eat and sleep in the new time zone
                      • Leave for your trip with at least a full day at the other end to begin the process of assimilation. For example, if you are traveling from Sydney to London for a meeting on
                        Monday morning, leave on Saturday at the latest.
                      • Do not go to sleep when you arrive unless it is the night time.
                      • Get out in the sun with no sunglasses when you arrive. Walk around the new city and get some exercise. Try to stay awake to move yourself into the new time zone as quickly as
                        possible. Your body’s receptor to the new time zone is through your eyes.
                      • Stick to your regular exercise regime and if you do not have one, try to get out and do some exercise. It may start a new good habit!
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                        executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-when-you-arrive

                        Travel Fitness at your Destination

                        Tips for travel fitness at your destination are outlined below:

                        Try to stick to your exercise regime while you are away. Most hotels have gym facilities and often a pool. There will be walking/running maps in the local area of the hotel (just ask the concierge). Unless it is not a safe city, then you should stay in the

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                        Tips for travel fitness at your destination are outlined below:

                        • Try to stick to your exercise regime while you are away. Most hotels have gym facilities and often a pool. There will be walking/running maps in the local area of the hotel (just ask the concierge). Unless it is not a safe city, then you should stay in the hotel.
                        • A skipping rope and a set of aqua weights are also a good option for a “portable gym”. Aqua weights are light weight to travel with and you just fill them with water.
                        • The Westin chain of hotels has introduced a “Westin Work out Room”. This is a hotel room with a treadmill or stationary bike, adjustable dumbbells, workout DVD’s and magazines and complimentary bottled water in the room so you can work out whenever you choose. This needs to be booked when you make your reservation. You will be charged at a higher rate than a standard room.
                        • Some major cities have golf driving ranges in or near downtown which are open very early and very late. You can get some golf practice in before or after work. You will be able to hire all your equipment there. The concierge at your hotel will be able to assist you with directions and bookings.
                        • Book a hotel with a gym and/or swimming pool.
                        • Generally speaking because you are not doing all the chores you normally encounter at home, sticking to the exercise regime is in fact often easier while you are away than when you are at home.
                        • Turn you mobile phone off when you are in bed. This way you will not be woken up in the middle of the night by a friend calling for a chat unaware that you are on a completely different time zone and it may be 7pm in Sydney where he is but it is 4am in New York where you are!
                        • Take time out on weekends to relax and enjoy yourself – see Optimising your Weekends While Travelling on Business
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                          Cultural Sensitivity to Common Illnesses

                          There may be cultural sensitivities to common illnesses which need to be considered if you become ill in another country while you are working. For example, in many Asian countries, it is common practice to either not come to work if you have a cold or to wear a medical mask. In the West, employees tend to “soldier on” with

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                          There may be cultural sensitivities to common illnesses which need to be considered if you become ill in another country while you are working. For example, in many Asian countries, it is common practice to either not come to work if you have a cold or to wear a medical mask. In the West, employees tend to “soldier on” with a common cold and go to work. Whereas in Asia, the approach is more about the impact on everyone else in the office.

                          You will see employees wearing masks in the office and it a sign of respect from the person who has the cold, to not give it to co-workers. Take note of such practices in the offices you visit in other parts of the world or if you get ill, ask the HR representative what the appropriate behavior is to respect customs and norms in that part of the world.

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                            executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-managing-the-office-if-you-are-ill

                            Managing the office if you are ill

                            Managing the office if you are ill is all about communication. If you fall ill, you are not expected to go to work. Even if you are only in on your business trip for 1 or 2 days, if you are too ill to work at home, you are to ill to work. Most likely you will not want to

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                            Managing the office if you are ill is all about communication. If you fall ill, you are not expected to go to work. Even if you are only in on your business trip for 1 or 2 days, if you are too ill to work at home, you are to ill to work. Most likely you will not want to stay at the hotel unless you are very ill and need a hospital. This is perfectly reasonable. It just requires a call to your host or customer to explain the situation and postpone. Also call back to your home office so they know what is transpiring and where to find you.

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                              executive-travel-assistant-all-things-medical-if-you-get-sick-or-injured

                              What should you do when you return home from abroad with an injury or illness

                              What you should do when you return home from abroad with an injury or illness is see your doctor. If you have a serious injury, for example a broken bone, you may wish to see you doctor at least to inform them of the situation, what drugs were prescribed, what recommended course of action was to follow up with and

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                              What you should do when you return home from abroad with an injury or illness is see your doctor. If you have a serious injury, for example a broken bone, you may wish to see you doctor at least to inform them of the situation, what drugs were prescribed, what recommended course of action was to follow up with and then seek his or her advice on next steps and schedule next appointments, etc. It will most likely be a requirement of your company’s travel policy that the injury is reported at least as an incident (if you have not already).

                              If you are ill when you return or get ill in the few days following your return, you should see a doctor immediately. This cannot be emphasised enough. The symptoms of a common cold or gastro may be obvious to all. They can also be the symptoms of a much more serious illness and we all know that all illnesses treated early leads to a higher speed and likelihood of full recovery. In the extremely unlikely case, you may have symptoms of a communicable disease which your government’s Health Department requires to be notified of. Your doctor will manage this but they need to know to treat you and the likelihood of others who may contract the disease. Recent outbreaks of illnesses that risked becoming pandemics include Avian Flu (H5N1) and Ebola, both of which start with symptoms of common illnesses.

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                                executive-travel-assistant-staying-fit-and-healthy-pregnancy

                                Airplane Travel while Pregnant

                                Talk to your doctor or travel medical practitioner about airplane travel while pregnant. Make sure any and all of your concerns and questions are covered prior to travel. But generally if you are fit and well, airline travel is ok for pregnant women. Some general tips include:

                                Most international airlines, will allow pregnant women to fly internationally until 35

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                                Talk to your doctor or travel medical practitioner about airplane travel while pregnant. Make sure any and all of your concerns and questions are covered prior to travel. But generally if you are fit and well, airline travel is ok for pregnant women. Some general tips include:

                                • Most international airlines, will allow pregnant women to fly internationally until 35 weeks. Check with your travel agent of airline website.
                                • Some vaccinations are not suitable so make sure you fully disclose your pregnancy and check this prior to having vaccinations
                                • Traveling to areas where mosquito born illnesses are prevalent is not recommended. these include Malaria, Dengue Fever, Zika and others.
                                • Take extra care with respect to drinking bottled water, watching what you eat and the risks associated with deep vein thrombosis. Make sure you heed the advice on exercising in flight, wearing flight socks etc
                                • Travel Insurance limitations may exist. Some travel insurance only covers you up to so many weeks pregnancy, may exclude childbirth and may or may not cover the newborn child
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                                  executive-travel-assistant-all-things-medical-staying-fit-and-healthy

                                  Staying Fit and Healthy

                                  Click through to Staying Fit and Healthy

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                                    executive-travel-assistant-banner-emergency-number

                                    Emergency Numbers

                                    Emergency numbers are taken for granted in your home country. In USA, Americans know the emergency number to call for help is 911. In Australian, Australians know to call 000. And here lies the challenge. The emergency numbers for help are different in each country and in some countries, there is a different number to call for police than fire

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                                    Emergency numbers are taken for granted in your home country. In USA, Americans know the emergency number to call for help is 911. In Australian, Australians know to call 000. And here lies the challenge. The emergency numbers for help are different in each country and in some countries, there is a different number to call for police than fire brigade and another one still for ambulance. What happens if you need to call for help?

                                    You can ask someone else to help. You will most likely have your phone with you so you can call for help also. Here is an easy look up tool to find what number to call in the country you are in. Just select the country in the drop down screen and the appropriate number or numbers will be revealed. Emergency Contacts

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                                      Quick Survey - My Favourite Suitcase Brand

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