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Preparing patients to travel abroad safely. Part 1: Taking a travel history and identifying special risks.
Can Fam Physician 2000; 46:132-8CF

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To present for family physicians without access to a travel clinic and the Internet the questions to ask about the medical history and itinerary of their patients traveling abroad. To suggest ways to identify and advise high-risk patients.

QUALITY OF EVIDENCE

MEDLINE searches from 1990 to November 1998 located 51 articles on travel and diabetes, 37 on travel and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 63 on travel and heart disease, 192 on travel and pregnancy, and 298 on travel with infants or children. Additional searches were undertaken in September 1999. The quality of evidence in most articles is level III (expert opinion). There are no randomized controlled trials of the best advice for family physicians to give travelers.

MAIN MESSAGE

A history should include countries to be visited, planned activities, previous tropical travel, medical history, vaccination status, whether children are traveling, pregnancy status, and patients' opinions of the risks and precautions needed. Detailed advice should be given to reduce risks. The main causes of mortality abroad are existing cardiovascular conditions and accidents. High-risk conditions to be identified in travelers are cardiovascular illness, COPD, diabetes, immunodeficiency, pregnancy, and traveling with children.

CONCLUSIONS

Patients with cardiovascular illness or COPD should be advised to avoid too much exertion while traveling. Detailed instruction should be given to diabetic patients on how to maintain stable glucose levels, to pregnant women on avoiding malarial infection, and to parents on protecting their children from infections and accidents.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John's. rogert@morgan.ucs.mun.ca

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

10660795

Citation

Thomas, R E.. "Preparing Patients to Travel Abroad Safely. Part 1: Taking a Travel History and Identifying Special Risks." Canadian Family Physician Medecin De Famille Canadien, vol. 46, 2000, pp. 132-8.
Thomas RE. Preparing patients to travel abroad safely. Part 1: Taking a travel history and identifying special risks. Can Fam Physician. 2000;46:132-8.
Thomas, R. E. (2000). Preparing patients to travel abroad safely. Part 1: Taking a travel history and identifying special risks. Canadian Family Physician Medecin De Famille Canadien, 46, pp. 132-8.
Thomas RE. Preparing Patients to Travel Abroad Safely. Part 1: Taking a Travel History and Identifying Special Risks. Can Fam Physician. 2000;46:132-8. PubMed PMID: 10660795.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Preparing patients to travel abroad safely. Part 1: Taking a travel history and identifying special risks. A1 - Thomas,R E, PY - 2000/2/8/pubmed PY - 2000/2/26/medline PY - 2000/2/8/entrez SP - 132 EP - 8 JF - Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien JO - Can Fam Physician VL - 46 N2 - OBJECTIVE: To present for family physicians without access to a travel clinic and the Internet the questions to ask about the medical history and itinerary of their patients traveling abroad. To suggest ways to identify and advise high-risk patients. QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: MEDLINE searches from 1990 to November 1998 located 51 articles on travel and diabetes, 37 on travel and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), 63 on travel and heart disease, 192 on travel and pregnancy, and 298 on travel with infants or children. Additional searches were undertaken in September 1999. The quality of evidence in most articles is level III (expert opinion). There are no randomized controlled trials of the best advice for family physicians to give travelers. MAIN MESSAGE: A history should include countries to be visited, planned activities, previous tropical travel, medical history, vaccination status, whether children are traveling, pregnancy status, and patients' opinions of the risks and precautions needed. Detailed advice should be given to reduce risks. The main causes of mortality abroad are existing cardiovascular conditions and accidents. High-risk conditions to be identified in travelers are cardiovascular illness, COPD, diabetes, immunodeficiency, pregnancy, and traveling with children. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with cardiovascular illness or COPD should be advised to avoid too much exertion while traveling. Detailed instruction should be given to diabetic patients on how to maintain stable glucose levels, to pregnant women on avoiding malarial infection, and to parents on protecting their children from infections and accidents. SN - 0008-350X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/10660795/Preparing_patients_to_travel_abroad_safely__Part_1:_Taking_a_travel_history_and_identifying_special_risks_ L2 - http://www.cfp.ca/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=10660795 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -