Improving any medical treatment overseas

This item appears on page 53 of the October 2011 issue.

I read the subscriber’s advice regarding carrying medical records while traveling (Sept. ’11, pg. 35).

My wife and I have been to 52 countries, and, based upon my experience, I recommend that — in addition to a prescription record, a list of your allergies and your doctors’ contact information — you should also carry a copy of your last blood-work report, including a notation of your blood type, as well as a copy of your last electrocardiogram and stress test, if you’ve had one.

All this provides a baseline with which to compare the results of new tests that might be required.

I keep my paper records in a manila folder in the bottom of my carry-on bag so I always have it with me. By taking paper records rather than electronic media, I know that even medical personnel without computer equipment will be able to read it. Simplicity is the key.

In the unlikely event that you require medical treatment while on a trip, be sure to obtain copies of any test results and doctors’ reports, and make notes of doctors’ statements regarding your case.

Keep receipts of all payments you make for medical services provided overseas. This is to satisfy the potential requirements for any medical insurance coverage that you have for the trip, when making a claim.

Also obtain and keep contact information on all hospitals, treatment centers, doctors, etc., that you utilize on a trip.

With the onset of any illness, it will help if you maintain a brief diary about the symptoms, its progress, etc.

Dallas, TX