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Sprained your foot like Neymar on a trip abroad? know what to do


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No one expects to sprain their ankle playing in the first World Cup game. Not traveling either. But it can happen, and it’s good to be prepared, because it’s not just the talent for embaixadinhas that separates Neymar from any traveler.

This was the case of this reporter, who sprained his ankle while preparing for a mountain bike trail in the United States, on a trip for the Tourism section. Luckily, the accident happened on the last day of the tour. For a moment, however, the feeling of desperation was as great as that of the number ten of the national team at the World Cup must have been.

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It may sound like drama, but it’s not. While Neymar had immediate medical attention, in the field, mortals do not and will never have the same help. So, how is the tourist? What is it like to go to the hospital abroad? And face a nearly ten-hour flight, in economy class, with a foot the size of an Al Rihla?

The orientation of orthopedists is to completely paralyze the activity that caused the injury and go to a comfortable place, preferably without making any effort. My accident took place before entering the trail — otherwise, I would accept it until I was carried.

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From then on, rest is essential: you should place your foot up, at heart level, and apply ice at short intervals every 20 minutes.

The protocol doesn’t seem different, but things change when you’re out and about. Any traveler knows — or should know — the risk of traveling abroad without insurance, including deportation from countries that make it an immigration requirement.

In addition, there are insurance companies that, in the fine print of the policy, only guarantee medical care in an emergency, not an emergency. At first glance, they may seem like the same thing, but while emergency refers to life-threatening illnesses or accidents, urgency is the more appropriate term for a sprained ankle or broken arm.

It is an important difference for the tourist to take into account, even if the destination has a public health system. The country will take care of you if your life is at risk — and that’s it. It is not the same as the Unified Health System (SUS), which, being universal and integral, meets any demand from anyone, Brazilian or not.

And even with the correct insurance in hand, you have to be careful. In the US, for example, hospitals are intended for more serious cases, with specialist evaluation, more complex tests and hospitalizations. They are also, it must be said, much more expensive.

Therefore, it is necessary to look for an “urgent care” center, that is, an emergency care clinic, which usually does simple tests, such as an X-ray. Insurers usually do a pre-screening and already forward the patient to the appropriate place, but this is good to know.

Dollars aside, even inside the office the letters of the policy can be enemies. There are insurances that do not cover accidents caused by sports considered extreme, such as skiing. Faced with the possibility of practicing something like this, it is recommended to hire a special plan or pay an extra cost.

Luckily for the article, mountain biking doesn’t seem to be that extreme, at least according to the insurance company’s standards.

Consultation done, attention to the final concern: the return home. Only a doctor can say whether or not it’s advisable to face a long flight in a cramped seat, something that naturally causes swelling in healthy feet.

The risk is that the passenger will develop a thrombosis, which is the formation of a blood clot in one or more veins of the legs and thighs. If this clot breaks free and moves through the bloodstream, the result is an embolism.

The journalist traveled at the invitation of Visit Florida

See insurance tips

Quote for the most basic plan for a seven-day stay in the United States for travelers under 70

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