Most patients with cardio problems can fly safely

July 25th, 2010 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 25 (IANS) Most people with cardiovascular diseases who are not critically ill can safely fly, a new report says.
The study, conducted by the British Cardiovascular Society, says that such people can undertake air travel provided they drink plenty of fluids, wear compression stockings and take a blood thinner.

However, the fluid intake should exclude alcohol, tea and coffee.

Consultant cardiologist David Smith of National Health Service (NHS) Foundation and colleagues explain that the main impact of air travel is the inhalation of air with reduced oxygen content in a pressurized environment.

This results in lower circulating oxygen levels in the blood, known as hypobaric hypoxia, says a society release.

Passengers already at high risk of angina, heart failure or abnormal heart rhythms might be adversely affected by hypoxia.

Otherwise, the blood oxygen levels induced by flying appear to have little or no adverse circulatory effects, certainly not for short-and medium-haul flights, for heart patients, the report says.

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