In the event of an emergency on holiday

It’s a good idea to take an up-to-date list of all your medicines with you when you go on holiday. Then, if you have an emergency and need to see a doctor, you can show your list to the doctor treating you. Keep this list readily available while on holiday.

It’s also useful to have the work telephone number of your primary care physician/GP or cardiologist in case the local doctor would like to discuss your condition or needs more information.

You should always take out travel insurance, including health cover, when you travel any distance or go on holiday. When taking out insurance, make sure that you are clear about what is covered by the policy regarding medical treatment, and what you will need to do should you need emergency medical attention while away. Make a note of which phone numbers to call and policy numbers to quote.

A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) is available and very worthwhile for European Union citizens travelling in Europe. While the EHIC is not a substitute for insurance, it entitles European Union citizens to free or reduced-cost medical treatment while in a European Economic Area (EEA) country.

Over 60 million EU citizens already carry the card. Some countries are incorporating the European card on the reverse side of a national card and others are issuing separate cards. You can get your card from your local social security or sickness insurance office, or for more information, visit the European Health Insurance Card website.

The EHIC is normally valid for three to five years and covers any medical treatment that becomes necessary during your trip, because of either illness or an accident. It also covers any treatment you need for a chronic condition such as heart failure. The card gives access to state-provided medical treatment only.

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ESC Guidelines for Heart Failure

What patients need to know

This guide for patients from the European Society of Cardiology aims to provide an overview of the latest evidence-based recommendations for the diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

In particular, it should help patients to understand the:

  • main types of heart failure
  • medicines used to treat heart failure
  • devices that may be appropriate
  • importance of rehabilitation
  • management by a multidisciplinary team
  • importance of self-care in managing your own condition

Learn more


A series of 9 simple, captivating animations explaining heart failure and its treatment.

These narrated animations explain how a healthy heart works, what happens to it in heart failure and how various treatments work to improve your health.


In this section you can watch, listen or read interviews with other people with heart failure and their caregivers.


and share your own views and experiences with other patients, families and caregivers. is a European Society of Cardiology website

The website was developed under the direction of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). The ESC is a world leader in the discovery and dissemination of best practices in cardiovascular medicine. Our members and decision-makers are healthcare professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to represent professionals in the field of cardiology in Europe and beyond.

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