Call for air travel guidelines for long-term conditions patients

Increasing numbers of people are travelling by plane with long-term conditions and new guidelines are needed to prevent them developing deep-vein thrombosis, a Lancet review article argues.

Photograph: istockphoto
Photograph: istockphoto

Lowered air pressure in aircraft cabins can pose a risk to patients with cardiac, pulmonary and blood conditions who have reduced arterial oxygen partial pressure. However, recommendations for preventing venous thrombosis are based on common sense, rather than evidence, authors of the review say.

In the modern travel era, clear understanding of the medical consequences of commercial flights has become increasingly important, they say.

‘Absence of a globally accepted guideline, and major differences in the use of prophylactic measures by clinicians for air travel-related thrombosis emphasise the need for additional studies on interventions and clear guidelines on prevention of air-travel-related venous thrombosis,’ they add.

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