Flying with Communicable Diseases with MedFlight911
July 28th was World Hepatitis Day. This holiday brought up the question - how do we handle flying with patients with communicable diseases? Over the years we, at MedFlight911, have transported many patients with communicable diseases. We take the extra precautions necessary to ensure the patients health and safety, and to protect the crew from illness, while treating all of our patients with dignity and respect.
If you are someone with a communicable disease, there are a few things you need to know about commercial and medical air travel.
Medical air transportation
Flying with communicable diseases puts the people around you at risk for becoming ill. Air is trapped and re-circulates in the cabin, creating an amazing environment for airborne illnesses to spread. When transporting any patient, we evaluate them carefully to ensure they are safe to travel. When we transport a patient with a communicable disease, we take precautions to ensure that the flight crew is protected from the illness. We also contact the receiving facility to make certain they are aware of the situation so they can take appropriate steps to decrease the risk of spreading the disease, including possibly placing the incoming patient in isolation.
Commercial air travel
Public transportation is one of the easiest ways to spread communicable diseases. If you have a trip planned and become ill with a communicable disease, you should postpone your trip until you are no longer contagious or exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
If you become sick shortly after a commercial flight, public health authorities will want to know. They will typically get the contact information of all the passengers on your flight(s) and inform them about the exposure and offer them intervention or treatment.
Communicable diseases that you should not fly with include, but are not limited to:
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Neisseria meningitides
- C. diff or Clostridium difficile
What can you do to prevent the spread of disease
If you travel by air often or you are planning an upcoming trip there are a few precautions you can take to minimize your risk of getting a communicable disease:
- Get vaccinated
- Wash your hands often and use hand sanitizer
- Carry sanitizing wipes to wipe the seat, armrest and chairs
- Avoid sitting next to people who are coughing or exhibiting other signs of sickness
- Don't put your hand on your face or in your mouth
Immune system compromised patients/passengers
Patients/passengers with compromised immune systems must weigh the significant risks when traveling via commercial airline.
If you become sick with a communicable disease, we urge you to seek medical attention immediately and do not to travel via commercial air. If you are in need of medical transport and you have a communicable disease, contact us. You are in great hands with MedFlight911!
Want to know more about traveling with communicable diseases? Give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation air medical transport quote here.