Travel Health

Do you need vaccinations?

In order to assist us to make a full assessment of the potential risks to your health from your planned travel, we would ask that you make a Travel Clinic appointment with our Practice Nurse. Ideally, this appointment should be made around the time of booking your holiday, at least 10 weeks before you travel.

At your appointment we may ask the following questions to help us plan for your trip:-

  • When are you departing and for how long?
  • Where are you going, including the destinations within a country?
  • Where are you staying, e.g. backpacking, camping, hotels?
  • Are you planning to undertake any high risk activities?
  • Have you taken out travel insurance and have you informed the company of any existing medical condition?
  • If female and of child bearing age, is there any possibility you could be pregnant, or are you planning a pregnancy?
  • Do you have any medical conditions, or a history of significant medical illness? (these can influence the choice of malaria tablets we recommend)

Select the region you are travelling to find out more.

Africa

Central Asia

East Asia

Australasia & Pacific

Caribbean

Central America

Europe & Russia

Middle East

North America

South America & Antarctica

Further Travel Information

The following websites will give you additional travel advice

Travel Health for information of vaccinations available on NHS

MASTA for private vaccination clinics

Gov.uk for specific country travel advice

EHIC to apply for your free European Health Insurance Card

 

Travel Vaccination Prices

Travel advice is covered by the NHS; however some vaccinations and prescriptions are only available privately. Payment for non-NHS services must be made at the first travel appointment.

Sedative Prescribing for Fear of Flying

The Avenue Surgery does NOT prescribe sedatives for fear of flying. This policy decision has been made by the GP Partners and is adhered to by all prescribers working in the practice. The reasons for this can be found below:

 

  1. Diazepam is a sedative, which means it makes you sleepy and more relaxed. If there is an emergency during the flight it may impair your ability to concentrate, follow instructions and react to the situation. This could have serious safety consequences for you and those around you.

 

  1. Sedative drugs can make you fall asleep, however when you do sleep it is an unnatural non-REM sleep. This means you won’t move around as much as during natural sleep. This can cause you to be at increased risk of developing a blood clot (DVT) in the leg or even the lung. Blood clots are very dangerous and can even prove fatal. This risk is even greater if your flight is greater than four hours.

 

  1. Whilst most people find benzodiazepines like diazepam sedating, a small number of people can become more agitated and aggressive. They can also cause disinhibition and lead you to behave in a way that you would not normally. This could impact on your safety as well as that of other passengers and could also get you into trouble with the law.

 

  1. According to the prescribing guidelines doctors follow (BNF) Benzodiazepines are contraindicated (not allowed) in phobia. Your doctor is taking a significant legal risk by prescribing against these guidelines. They are only licensed short term for a crisis in generalised anxiety. If this is the case, you should be getting proper care and support for your mental health and not going on a flight.

 

  1. Diazepam and similar drugs are illegal in some countries. They may be confiscated, or you may find yourself in trouble with the police.

 

  1. Diazepam stays in your system for quite a while. If your job requires you to submit to random drug testing, you may fail this having taken diazepam.

 

       

We appreciate that fear of flying is very real and very frightening. A much better approach is to tackle this properly with a Fear of Flying course run by the airlines and we have listed a number of these below.

Easy Jet www.fearlessflyer.easyjet.com Tel 0203 813 1644

British Airways www.flyingwithconfidence.com  Tel 01252 793 250

Virgin www.flyingwithoutfear.co.uk  info@flyingwithoutfear.co.uk