The air in an aircraft is dry and cold and the oxygen level and atmospheric pressure are lower than on the ground. These conditions can lead to hypoxia (reduced oxygen in the blood) in some. Gas volumes also expand during takeoff and contract during descent, causing bloating, hyperventilation, and other inconveniences, especially in people who are already more vulnerable because of their health.
Before Your Departure:
During the Flight:
This term describes the risk of blood clot formation within a vein (venous thrombosis) during a long flight. The risk is very low and is apparently influenced by the following factors: immobility, dehydration, and decreased air and oxygen pressure within the cabin. Flying in coach, with its narrower seats, is not a factor in itself. You can limit your risk by following the above-mentioned guidelines during the flight.
People with health conditions (respiratory or circulatory problems, pregnancy) should discuss any air travel plans with their physician who may recommend wearing compression stockings or other precautionary measures. Certain medications predispose users to the formation of a blood clot in a vein. Talk to your pharmacist to see if you are taking any of those medications.
Due to the atmospheric conditions in the aircraft, flying may be contraindicated when suffering from certain health conditions:
|Acute otitis media||Do not fly during the first 2 weeks following acute otitis media, use a topical decongestant before take-off and landing.|
|Anemia||Do not fly if your hemoglobin is less than 75 g/L.|
|Angina (unstable)||Avoid flying because there is an increased risk of ischemia (reduced blood supply to the heart).|
|Asthma||Caution - hypoxia (reduced oxygen in the blood ) worsens symptoms.|
|Cerebrovascular accident||Do not fly during the first 3 weeks following a cerebrovascular accident.|
|Myocardial infarction||Do not fly during the first 6 weeks following surgery.|
|Sinusitis||Use an oral decongestant 1 hour before landing combined with a topical decongestant.|
|Surgery - abdominal||Do not fly during the first 2 weeks following surgery.|
|Surgery - head||Do not fly during the first week following surgery.|
|Surgery - internal ear||Do not fly during the first 2 months following surgery.|
|Surgery - sinus||Do not fly during the first week following surgery.|
|Surgery - thoracic||Do not fly during the first 3 weeks following surgery.|
For more information:
Essential information for a safe trip
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The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.