Marco Bitran volunteers for Patient Airlift Services and Angel Flight NorthEast. These agencies provide pro bono flight services to those who are in need of medical or other assistance, and have difficulty traveling by car or on commuter flights due to distance, financial or health issues, or otherwise.
Flying is not always easy for everyone. According to Marco Bitran, an entrepreneur based out of Boston, MA, the difficulty of flying varies depending on whether you have a medical condition or not and what that medical condition is. This article will discuss some difficulties that different kinds of patients can run into when they want to fly by airplane.
Lets will start with the most common kind of patient: people without an illness or disability. In this case, there are only two problems that can occur with boarding a plane. If it is too crowded, the boarding time may be delayed due to how long it takes for people to get seated. Conversely, boarding may go very quickly because there are plenty of empty seats and no delays in getting seated.
However, if the passenger happens to have an underlying medical condition, a host of complications can arise. Here are a few considerations when medical patients fly.
People who have conditions like chronic bronchitis or emphysema might want to think twice about flying. The deep breaths necessary for takeoff and landing can be very harmful, according to Marco Bitran, especially for those who already suffer from respiratory problems.
If the patient has chronic bronchitis, they should probably avoid flying because it will worsen their symptoms.
On the other hand, if the patient has emphysema, there is a chance that flying could make their symptoms better. Emphysema patients experience shortness of breath during everyday activities (such as walking up the stairs). However, when these patients get on an airplane and breathe in the more fresh air than they usually do, this may help their symptoms.
Another issue that emphysema patients face when they fly is the change in cabin pressure. Airport cabins are usually pressurized to around 8000 feet above sea level, while emphysema patients usually live at much lower altitudes (such as sea level). At normal altitudes, the pressure of oxygen in their lungs is way below what it should be because there isn’t enough atmospheric pressure outside to force it in.
When these patients get on an airplane, one of two things could happen: either there will be enough oxygen for them to breathe correctly or too little oxygen for their bodies to function properly. Over time, this can result in permanent damage.
Patients who have suffered a stroke are also at risk when they decide to fly because it can cause additional strokes or brain damage. The change in cabin pressure that flights put on patients can cause blood vessels to open up, and according to Marco Bitran, result in increased blood flow, making the chance of another stroke much higher.
Moreover, flying puts stress on the body and makes it work harder than usual. This is especially true for older people. Combine the stressful environment with less oxygen, and it becomes even more dangerous. Neurological conditions are caused not only by being in actual airplanes but also by getting prepared to get on one! Make sure you know all your options before you travel by plane again after suffering from a stroke.
Marco Bitran believes that Patients with conditions like asthma also have a few problems that can arise when they fly in an airplane. The main problem is the change in cabin pressure. Asthmatic patients could result in their airways constricting or closing up completely if they are not using their inhalers properly.
On top of this, there’s also the issue of recirculated air to worry about. This type of air contains higher concentrations of germs than what you would normally find outside the plane, where it is mixed with fresh oxygen from time to time.
If you or anyone you know suffers from asthma, make sure to get your condition under control well before flying so that these potential complications do not occur.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Finally, according to Marco Bitran, deep vein thrombosis is the most common medical complication that can occur when flying. Sitting in an airplane for hours on end can cause blood to pool in your legs, making you more likely to suffer from a clot or a pulmonary embolism. This risk is especially high if you are either elderly or overweight.
If any of this sounds scary to you, remember the golden rule when flying with medical conditions: always talk to your doctor before traveling. They will be able to tell you how best to avoid potential problems, and they might even be able to provide some additional advice based on your situation.
An Infectious Disease
Many infectious diseases are spread through the air, water, or food. The risk of getting sick during travel is usually low, but it depends on the type of infection and where you are traveling. Some infections can be transmitted more easily than others, including some that you might not even be aware of. You can check below which diseases are considered most risky for travelers:
This illness is the most common travel-related disease. It occurs when a traveler eats contaminated food or drinks contaminated water. Symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. This condition isn’t life-threatening in otherwise healthy people, but it can spoil your trip if it causes you to lose too much fluid and get dehydrated.
Some people might think that TB is a past disease, but it has come back in recent years. The main reason for this is due to increased travel from one country to another. While medications are available to treat this bacterial infection, they aren’t as effective as the older ones and can have more side effects.
This mosquito-borne illness can cause fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms. Malaria is most common in tropical areas because the mosquitoes that carry the disease thrive in warm weather. Usually, malaria doesn’t become a problem unless you spend a lot of time outside at dusk or dawn when the mosquitoes are most active. Dengue fever – Like malaria, dengue fever is also transmitted by mosquitoes.
If you have a medical condition that makes traveling difficult, it is important to be aware of potential problems before booking your next holiday. In most cases, the best thing you can do is speak to your doctor beforehand, as they will be able to help you assess your risk and provide advice on how to avoid any problem areas.