Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

Air travel can be safe and well tolerated in patients with clinically stable pulmonary hypertension

Melanie Thamm, Robert Voswinckel, Henning Tiede, Friederike Lendeckel, Friedrich Grimminger, Werner Seeger and Hossein A. Ghofrani
Pulmonary Circulation
Vol. 1, No. 2 (April 2011), pp. 239-243
DOI: 10.4103/2045-8932.83451
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.4103/2045-8932.83451
Page Count: 5
Subjects: Health Sciences
Find more content in these subjects: Health Sciences
  • Download PDF
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
We're having trouble loading this content. Download PDF instead.

Abstract

AbstractOur aim was to determine what proportion of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) has undertaken air travel contrary to the general medical advice and to characterize these patients according to disease severity and medical treatment. In cooperation with Pulmonale Hypertonie e.V., the German patient organization, a questionnaire was distributed. In total, 430 of 720 questionnaires were returned completed. Of the 179 patients who travelled at least once by air, the distribution of New York Heart Association functional classes I/ II/ III/ IV was 2/ 77/ 74/ 8, respectively; 83 patients were receiving monotherapy; 58 patients were receiving a combination of two or more therapies; 57 patients were on long-term ambulatory oxygen treatment; and 29 patients used supplemental oxygen while travelling. Overall, 20 adverse events were reported, mostly of mild to moderate severity (i.e., peripheral edema, dyspnea), with need of medical intervention in only 7 cases. The 251 patients who did not travel by air were, on average, in more advanced stages of disease and/or clinically unstable. In conclusion, a majority of patients (159 out of 179) did not experience any complications during or directly after the fight even though no special precautions were taken. Thus we conclude that for patients with PH in a stable clinical condition, air travel can be safe and well tolerated.

Notes and References

This item contains 16 references.

References
  • 1.
    ['Badesch DB, Champion HC, Sanchez MA, Hoeper MM, Loyd JE, Manes A, et al. Diagnosis and assessment of pulmonary arterial hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol 2009;54 Suppl l:S55–66.']
  • 2.
    ['Barst RJ, Gibbs JS, Ghofrani HA, Hoeper MM, McLaughlin VV, Rubin LJ, et al. Updated evidence-based treatment algorithm in pulmonary arterial hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol 2009;54 Suppl 1:S78–84.']
  • 3.
    ['Cummins RO, Chapman PJ, Chamberlain DA, Schubach JA, Litwin PE. In-flight deaths during commercial air travel: How big is the problem? JAMA 1988;259:1983–8.']
  • 4.
    ['DeJohn CA. The evaluation of in-flight medical care aboard selected U.S. air carriers. Washington D.C.: US Department of Transport, Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Aviation Medicine; 2000.']
  • 5.
    ['Mohr LC. Hypoxia during air travel in adults with pulmonary disease. Am J Med Sci 2008;335:71–9.']
  • 6.
    ['Luks AM, Swenson ER. Travel to high altitude with pre-existing lung disease. Eur Respir J 2007;29:770–92.']
  • 7.
    ['Martin SE, Bradley JM, Buick JB, Bradbury I, Elborn JS. Flight assessment in patients with respiratory disease: Hypoxic challenge testing vs. predictive equations. QJM 2007;100:361–7.']
  • 8.
    ['Ghofrani HA, Reichenberger F, Kohstall MG, Mrosek EH, Seeger T, Olschewski H, et al. Sildenafil increased exercise capacity during hypoxia at low altitudes and at Mount Everest base camp: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover trial. Ann Intern Med 2004;141:169–77.']
  • 9.
    ['Bartsch P, Gibbs JS. Effect of altitude on the heart and the lungs. Circulation 2007;116:2191–202.']
  • 10.
    ['British Thoracic Society Standards of Care Committee. Managing passengers with respiratory disease planning air travel: British Thoracic Society recommendations. Thorax 2002;57:289–304.']
  • 11.
    ['Ziegler T, Rendelmann S, Albrecht L, Gebauer C, Schoof B. Flugtauglichkeit für Urlaubsreisende. Brandenburgisches Ärzteblatt 2007;3:84–5.']
  • 12.
    ['McLaughlin VV, Archer SL, Badesch DB, Barst RJ, Farber HW, Lindner JR, et al. ACCF/AHA 2009 Expert consensus document on pulmonary hypertension. J Am Coll Cardiol 2009;53:1573–619.']
  • 13.
    ['Galiè N, Hoeper MM, Humbert M, Torbicki A, Vachiery JL, Barbera JA, et al. Guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension: The Task Force for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and the European Respiratory Society (ERS), endorsed by the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT). Eur Heart J 2009;30:2493–537.']
  • 14.
    ['Fischer R, Nowak D, Huber RM. [Fitness to fly of patients with lung disease]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr 2001;126:1115–7.']
  • 15.
    ['Possick SE, Barry M. Air travel and cardiovascular disease. J Travel Med 2004;11:243–8.']
  • 16.
    ['Caro JJ, Salas M, Ward A. Healing and relapse rates in gastroesophageal reflux disease treated with the newer proton-pump inhibitors lansoprazole, rabeprazole, and pantoprazole compared with omeprazole, ranitidine, and placebo: Evidence from randomized clinical trials. Clin Ther 2001;23:998–1017.']