If you are flying with a medical condition this holiday season, make sure you check with your doctor about any precautions you should take. Depending on the condition and if they feel a passenger poses a risk, the airline and captain can refuse a travelling passenger at the last minute. If traveling with medical equipment, advance arrangements need to be made with the airline.
Aircraft cabin altitude fluctuates between 5 and 8,000 feet, which affects barometric pressure. humidity and oxygen levels. Individuals who suffer from respiratory problems could be adversely affected by the atmosphere.
Various airlines, such as American Airlines, have a reference list to help you identify what assistance you may need for flying. Conditions include blind or deaf passengers, contagious disease, broken bones, the need for intravenous medication, medical equipment, peanut allergies, pregnancy and even a request for seat belt extension. Medical magnets used to be a problem but no longer create a safety issue. Special assistance coordinators are available or you may contact reservations for more information.
United Airlines also provides a special travel needs section for their customers who may need medical accommodations, which again can include information about customer-provided ventilators, respirators, and portable oxygen concentrators.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is a help division for any travelers with disabilities or medical conditions or concerns about screening and security prior to flying. Make sure that you contact them 72 hours prior to travel to discuss your concerns. A representative can provide assistance or information concerning the condition and the next steps necessary to aid the traveler.
If traveling internationally, you may want to check into obtaining insurance. Lack of hospitalization coverage overseas could be a disaster and many policies will also cover damage to medical equipment and even lost prescriptions. But before looking into the cost of travel insurance, check with your insurance specialist to find out if your life insurance policy will cover you.