Air travel with medical conditions like Diabetes, Lung diseases, physical handicap, heart disease and pregnancy. Tips for all those intending to travel by air with different kinds of health problems
Tips for air travel with medical conditions !
Air travel for diabetics
Monitor your blood sugar levels frequently, and adjust your food and drug doses. Pack sweets, juice, biscuits, fruit to take when sugar levels are low.
If you are going to cross time zones of more than a few hours, consult your doctor about how to schedule your medication, specially if you are on insulin.
You can carry insulin without refrigerator for many days as long as you keep it out of extreme heat. Ask if your airline will provide special meals, and plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
On arrival check your blood sugar frequently, because you will be on different activities and diet. Try to stay with established meals, although you may be tempted to taste new foods and to eat more frequently.
Wear comfy socks and shoes and check your feet daily to prevent minor injuries.
Air travel with lung diseases
If you have lung cysts, severe emphysema, pleural effusion, recent lung collapse get your doctor’s approval before you fly. If you need supplemental oxygen in any form abroad.
Find out about oxygen during airport layovers. You can carry a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device provided that it does not exceed the size allowed for hand luggage. And remember to keep extra time for security checks.
Travel at high altitudes may present special problems because there is less oxygen available than at sea level.
If you have mild or moderate lung problems you will be fine at altitudes below 5000 feet, but higher altitudes may pose a problem, so take the same precautions that you would if you were flying.
Bus, train, car and ship travel is safe, but requires planning to ensure a supply of oxygen.
If you have asthma, emphysema or bronchitis your symptoms may peak in polluted areas, so you may require more puffs of your inhaler or steroids.
Air travel for the handicapped
Book your trip and wheel chair early and travel at off peak hours. Tell the airline whether you can stand or walk at all, or will need to lie prone and require a stretcher. Ask whether you’ll be taken in first or last.
If you cannot walk at all you may need to limit liquids because airline toilets are not accessible to wheel chairs.
In a bus or train you may have to be carried on or off.
Air travel with Heart disease
Do not travel at all if you have angina, heart failure, rhythm disturbances, a heart attack within two months is that cause pain and discomfort at rest or with slight exertion.
Carry a copy of your recent ECG. If you have a pacemaker, implantable defibrillators or coronary stent carry a card or a doctors letter documenting the presence, location and characteristics of the device.
An implanted metal device may trigger an alarm as you pass through security. Do not stand in walk-through metal detectors for more than 15 seconds, and avoid contact with a hand-held metal detector for more than five seconds.
Ask for low sodium, low fat meals on flights or on cruises.
Air travel and pregnancy
Pregnancy is not generally not affected by travel. But if you are close to your due date ( over 5 months) and if you are at risk of miscarriage, premature delivery or placental abruption you should avoid flying and traveling for long distances.
Check your airline policy about pregnant women before you buy your ticket.
If you are going on a long trip, take precautions to reduce the risk of blood clots, by walking around in a airplane and stop to take short walks during a long drive.
Drink plenty of fluids too. Fasten your seat belt over your thighs, not abdomen, to prevent injury to the foetus. Be vigilant about hand washing.