Did You Know…?

Jane Brody wrote an interesting article for The New York Times on “Flying Healthy”that highlighted the usual precautions: get plenty of rest and take extra vitamins prior to your flight, stay well-hydrated, and get up to move around to maintain good circulation.  Beyond these, she noted some special considerations. As airline cabins are commonly pressurized to altitudes of about 5,000 to 8,000 feet above sea level, passengers with underlying heart or respiratory diseases who may already have low levels of oxygen in their blood can develop symptoms of altitude sickness including fatigue, headache, lightheadedness, and nausea. Also, with respect to deep venous thrombosis (DVT), the risk of blood clots starts to rise four hours into a flight and peaks on flights of more than eight hours, and the more flights taken within two weeks, the greater the risk.  Those at highest risk of flight-induced blood clots include passengers who are obese, have cancer, recently had surgery, take oral contraceptives, or have conditions that raise their susceptibility to bloods clots including genetic conditions like factor V Leiden.  People at the highest risk may benefit from blood thinners when flying in addition to wearing compression stockings, exercising calf muscles, and staying well hydrated.

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