Safe for Passengers with Lung Disease to Travel by Air

May 19, 2009,

(PhysOrg.com) -- Oxygen levels while flying are substantially less than at ground level. Current guidelines for in-flight oxygen levels are sufficient to support the needs of passengers with non-obstructed lung disease. According to two articles published in the Wiley-Blackwell journal, Respirology, commercial air travel appears to be safe for patients with lung disease as the current policies for the in-flight oxygen levels and availability of supplemental oxygen can adequately accommodate passenger’s needs.

The paper entitled, “Predicting the response to air travel in passengers with non-obstructive lung disease: Are the current guidelines appropriate?” quantified the hypoxaemic, or the blood oxygenation level, response in 14 patients with non-obstructive lung disease during air travel and compares it to the British Thoracic Society (BTS) air travel published guidelines.

“The BTS guideline uses common diagnostic tools to provide a simple oxygen level algorithm to identify patients who may require in-flight oxygen. By using the BTS recommendations, we are able to identify the subjects that needed supplement oxygen during the flight. These findings should add confidence to passengers with pulmonary disorders wishing to travel”, said co-author Dr. Paul Kelly from the Respiratory Physiology Laboratory at Christchurch Hospital.

Another paper in the issue, “Airline policy for passengers requiring supplemental in-flight oxygen” examines 54 commercial airlines servicing Australia and New Zealand to consolidate information on the current airline policies on supplemental in-flight oxygen for passengers with lung disease, as well as its approximate cost to passengers.

While the study confirmed that most airlines can accommodate passengers requiring supplemental oxygen, there was substantial variation in air policies and cost for passengers with lung disease who wish to travel while using supplemental oxygen.

Co-author, Dr. Lutz Beckert, from the Christchurch School of Medicine, University of Otago said, “Passenger with lung disease can use this study as a resource to compare airline policies and find a carrier that best suits their needs. In addition, these findings may also act as a catalyst for air travel providers to consider the development of a standard policy for the industry.”

More information:

The abstract of “Predicting the response to air travel in passengers with non-obstructive lung disease: Are the current guidelines appropriate?” is available at: www3.interscience.wiley.com/jo … l/122304815/abstract

The abstract of “Airline policy for passengers requiring supplemental in-slight oxygen” is available at: www3.interscience.wiley.com/jo … l/122304816/abstract

Provided by Wiley (news : web)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Scientists gain new insight on how antibodies interact with widespread respiratory virus

February 22, 2018
Scientists have found and characterized the activity of four antibodies produced by the human immune system that target an important protein found in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), according to new research published ...

Study reveals how kidney disease happens

February 22, 2018
Monash researchers have solved a mystery, revealing how certain immune cells work together to instigate autoimmune kidney disease.

Past encounters with the flu shape vaccine response

February 20, 2018
New research on why the influenza vaccine was only modestly effective in recent years shows that immune history with the flu influences a person's response to the vaccine.

Building better tiny kidneys to test drugs and help people avoid dialysis

February 16, 2018
A free online kidney atlas built by USC researchers empowers stem cell scientists everywhere to generate more human-like tiny kidneys for testing new drugs and creating renal replacement therapies.

Study suggests expanded range for emerging tick-borne disease

February 16, 2018
Human cases of Borrelia miyamotoi, a tick-borne infection with some similarities to Lyme disease, were discovered in the eastern United States less than a decade ago. Now new research led by the Yale School of Public Health ...

Expanding Hepatitis C testing to all adults is cost-effective and improves outcomes

February 16, 2018
According to a new study, screening all adults for hepatitis C (HCV) is a cost-effective way to improve clinical outcomes of HCV and identify more infected people compared to current recommendations. Using a simulation model, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.