TRAVEL AND YOUR HEALTH BY DR. DARRYL ADDINGTON, SURGEON GENERAL
Congress is approaching and many of our compatriots and companions will be traveling long distances to reach California. Travel will be by car, plane or some by train. Here are several tips to decrease the chance of a medical issue.
Water flows downhill, sitting for extended periods may result in edema in the ankles and lower leg. This also may result in blood pooling in the lower legs. Deep vein thrombosis is a danger with possible pulmonary emboli. Standing after prolonged sitting may result in low blood pressure when first standing followed by fainting or a fall.
Flexing leg muscles and walking every one to two hours will help decrease the danger of thrombosis and low blood pressure. Hydration is also important, the fluid for hydration is water, not carbonated drinks and alcohol.
You will be in new areas and exposed to new viruses. The most common way a virus is contracted is from the hands to the face, especially the eyes. Wash your hands frequently and carry a disinfectant.
You may be changing time zones by as much as three hours. Plan on resting when you reach California and a good eight hours sleep that night.
If you plan on visiting the beach and/or exposure to the sun, bring your sun screen and use it.
Remember to pack all your medications and information how to contact your family physician in case of an emergency. Carry medications in original bottles with your name and your physicians name on the bottle. Bring more medications than you think you need. If your luggage will be checked, pack your medications and essential medical items in a carryon bag.
Many of us will over indulge in food and drink on trips, our trip will be more enjoyable if we can avoid this urge.
Members of the Medical Advisory Committee will be at the congress and can be contacted for advice. The welcome bag will have information about local hospitals, urgent care facilities, and pharmacies.