Firstly, what is a heart attack?
A heart attack occurs when there is a sudden and complete blockage of an artery that supplies blood to an area of the heart. The heart, being a muscle, requires a good blood supply to keep it healthy and without it, the muscle starts to die. Unfortunately the longer a blockage is left untreated, the more damage it can cause to the heart muscle.
A blockage is caused by the breakage of a build-up of fatty materials on the artery walls, known as plaque. When plaque breaks, blood cells and other blood constituents adhere to the damaged area and form blood clots. The heart attack then occurs when a blood clot completely blocks the flow of blood to an area.
Coronary heart disease is the underlying cause of heart attacks, however some people may be unaware that they have the disease until they’ve had their first heart attack. Others can experience a heart attack weeks to years after a diagnosis of coronary heart disease.
Symptoms of a heart attack can vary from person to person as well as between the sexes – and may not be severe initially.
Some warning signs are:
- Shortness of breath
- Pain around the shoulder girdle
- Nausea or feelings of indigestion
- Discomfort in the jaw, neck and arm
- Dizziness and “cold” sweats
Heart attacks and travel insurance
Having a heart attack should not stop Australians from having a great holiday, particularly as insure4less specialises in providing affordable travel insurance for travellers with pre-existing medical conditions.
For your own peace of mind, you can relax in the knowledge that you have the protection of one of the world’s largest insurers and medical emergency teams to support you whilst overseas if you suddenly suffer from any cardiovascular events. These include heart attacks and strokes.
We ask you to tell us about your health and to declare your heart attack history when completing your online travel insurance application. We’ll immediately tell you if we can provide cover at no extra cost, or if there is any extra premium to pay. Occasionally, we may have to decline cover (depending on your health at the time of application).
Once you’ve successfully applied for cover we’ll immediately forward you your policy certificate and Product Disclosure Statement (as this explains the cover provided) so that you can simply travel with peace of mind, and importantly, relax.
Here are some heart attack related travel tips
- When flying, put your heart attack related medicines in your take on bag – making sure you pack a little extra to allow for delays. Make sure you take medication bottles labelled with your name and the prescription information.
- Keep a copy of your most recent prescription online (such as in a google drive) so that you can access it should you need it.
- Select healthy options when eating out wherever possible and remember to drink plenty of water.
- Before flying, ensure that you’ve obtained medical clearance from your doctor. If your heart attack is recent, you may feel more tired or car sick than usual. Ensure that you take plenty of breaks.
- Don’t forget to exercise on the plane (select an aisle seat if you can) and do plenty of walking after you have arrived.