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Quiz: Are You Prepared for a Medical Emergency?

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 18 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Prepare Medical Emergency Health Travel

Travelling means leaving the safety of your own home and medical emergencies are just one of the situations you might encounter during your journeys. Many travellers don’t even like to think about the possibility of having a medical emergency on the road, but it doesn’t pay to ignore this possibility. This quiz has been designed to help you assess if you are prepared for a medical emergency while travelling, and offers suggestions for how to better plan for your next trip.

1. When you travel, you pack your prescription medication:

  • A. In your checked baggage so you don’t have to deal with it.
  • B. In your carry-on baggage. Well, a few days worth, anyway.
  • C. In your carry-on baggage along with a doctor’s note or written prescription.

2. You carry an “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) card:

  • A. Never. No one needs to know your loved one’s details.
  • B. The information is written down somewhere, maybe on the back of scrap paper.
  • C. An official card is in your wallet, and you wear a clear medical bracelet, too.

3. Should you need medical advice abroad, you would:

  • A. Read the back of some over-the-counter products and buy something.
  • B. Ask if your hotel has a doctor or nurse.
  • C. Call your insurance’s helpline then locate a local medical professional.

4. You are absolutely sure your travel insurance covers:

  • A. What travel insurance?
  • B. Lost baggage. And maybe some emergency medical care.
  • C. Every family member for routine and emergency medical care.

5. When a member of your tour group cuts his hand, you:

  • A. Walk away, blood makes you squeamish.
  • B. Scrounge up a small plaster from the bottom of your bag.
  • C. Contribute a large plaster and antiseptic wipe from your small first aid kit.

6. You find yourself visiting a foreign doctor. You:

  • A. Ignore every except to insist they call your GP.
  • B. Try to write out your symptoms and medications so someone understands.
  • C. Ask for a translator and produce your medications in their original bottles.

7. You are involved in a disaster abroad. You:

  • A. Try to text your family that you are fine.
  • C. Follow the authorities’ directions and call your nearest consulate or embassy.

8. Your travel health kit:

  • A. Is non-existent. You never have room for one.
  • B. Includes some basic over-the-counter medicines you tossed into a bag.
  • C. Includes over-the-counter medicines, plasters, gauze, swabs, tweezers, scissors and more.

9. When you travel, you familiarise yourself with:

  • A. The name of the hotel concierge.
  • B. Emergency exits in your accommodation.
  • C. Hotel staff, evacuation plans, local emergency telephone numbers and basic vocabulary.

10. You travel with contact information for:

  • A. Your accommodation.
  • B. Your insurance company.
  • C. Your insurance company, nearest embassy, home GP surgery, bank, and credit card.

Are You Prepared For A Medical Emergency?

mostly “A” - you are not well prepared for a medical emergency during your travels. Yes, travel is a time to relax and enjoy yourself but failing to prepare for situations which risk your physical health is unacceptable. At the very least write out a neat sheet with contact information for your health care providers and insurance company, medicines you take and why as well as who to contact in the event of an emergency. If you don’t have an insurance company to list, get one before you even think about travelling.

mostly “B” - you are somewhat prepared for a medical emergency while travelling. You’ve likely thought of the basic things to bring with you - a few plasters, your prescription medicine, an insurance card - but have never really sat down to plan out what you might need in an emergency situation. Before your next trip, spend an afternoon organising all aspects of a medical emergency, from an ICE card to written prescriptions to neatly printed contact and policy information, so that you can travel more confidently where you choose to go.

mostly “C” - you are well prepared for a medical emergency when you travel. You understand the importance of carrying clear contact and prescription information with you, as well as a well-stocked health kit. When you are travelling, remember to familiarise yourself with local emergency routines (evacuation routes, telephone numbers, etc) and never hesitate to ask for a translator if you believe communication has become a problem. It may be that you are the only person able to advocate on your behalf when you travel, so don’t be shy about asking for what you need.

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