Are You Healthy Enough to Fly? When to Consider an Air Medical Escort
For many people, flying has become such a common activity that they don't really stop to think about whether or not they're healthy enough to do it. But for people with certain medical conditions, flying can be risky. In some cases, these individuals may want to travel with an air medical escort, who can help them with any problems that arise while in flight. In other cases, it may be smart to defer a trip entirely, or to travel via air ambulance.
For people with certain chronic conditions, a pre-flight medical exam is a good idea. The Aerospace Medical Association suggests that people with heart and lung diseases (such as asthma, emphysema, or a history of heart attacks), as well as those with a history of blood clots, seizure, stroke, and diabetes, may benefit from a pre-travel doctor's checkup. Women with high-risk pregnancy or in the last weeks before delivery may also need to check with their doctor before flying.
If you have a serious medical condition but are still healthy enough to travel, you may consider hiring a commercial medical escort to provide assistance while in flight. At MedFlight911, our air medical escorts can help with everything from navigating security screening to handling a medical situation while in the air. Some of our patients are in wheelchairs and need a lot of medical attention, while others may simply need a little bit of help getting around.
Even if you don't travel with a medical escort, there are some basic steps you can take to stay healthy while flying, including:
- On long flights, get up and move around the cabin periodically, to reduce the risk of blood clots.
- Pack any necessary medication in your carry-on, not your checked luggage, in case you need it while in flight (and in case the airline sends your checked luggage to a different destination).
- If your luggage is heavy, consider checking it rather than risking injuring yourself by trying to put an overstuffed bag in the overhead bin.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. This is especially important since airplane air is often very dry.
- If you have an allergy (such as a peanut allergy) make sure you travel with your medication, such as an EpiPen.
Air travel is generally very safe, but emergencies can and do happen while in flight. To reduce the risk of that happening to you, it's best to be prepared.
To find out more about MedFlight911's air medical escort services give us a call at 888-359-1911 or get a no-obligation commercial medical escort quote here.