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Flying sickness?

Travel Forums General Talk Flying sickness?

1. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

Study shows fliers are out of breath
Wednesday, April 27, 2005 Posted: 7:23 AM EDT (1123 GMT)

LONDON, England -- Airline passengers are putting up with "significant" drops in the supply of oxygen while flying at high altitude, according to researchers.

Just over half of all fliers analyzed had oxygen levels 6 percent lower than usual when the airplane was at maximum altitude -- a level at which doctors normally administer extra oxygen for hospital patients.

"We believe that these falling oxygen levels, together with factors such as dehydration, immobility and low humidity, could contribute to illness during and after flights," said Susan Humphreys of the Royal Group of Hospitals in Belfast, whose group conducted the research.

"This has become a greater problem in recent years as modern airplanes are able to cruise at much higher altitudes."

A drop in oxygen levels can be a contributing factor to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a potentially fatal blood clot which is also called "economy class syndrome."

Low oxygen levels also can lead to headaches, fatigue and impaired mental performance.

"We should be giving people with ill health more advice about things they can do, such as drinking more water when they fly, to avoid problems," researcher Rachel Deyermond told the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

The researchers from Belfast, Northern Ireland published their results in the May issue of Anaesthesia, a British medical journal.

They recorded the blood oxygen levels and the pulse rate of 84 passengers, aged 1 to 78, at both ground level and at peak altitude during a flight.

The research shows a "statistically significant" reduction in oxygen levels in all passengers traveling on both long- and short-haul flights.

On average, oxygen levels in passengers dropped by 4 percent by the time the plane had reached cruising altitude. A total of 54 percent of passengers had oxygen levels below this level.

Of the 84 passengers who were analyzed, 55 were on flights lasting more than two hours, while the rest were on short-haul journeys. Similar results were obtained from both groups. None of them had severe cardio-respiratory problems or required permission from their doctor to fly.

"The House of Lords and the UK Department of Transport have both acknowledged that more studies need to be carried out with respect to the effects of air travel on health, as there is little information on the physiological effects of flying on passengers currently available," Deyermond said.

2. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 11y

CupCake,

This article, about flying on planes, is about varicose veins I think, that you could get while flying if you don't move enough. You only sit there cramping, and you do not have enough oxygen in your blood because it isn't circulating enough so your veins could actually pop. They are thick-walled elastic arteries that store up to two-thirds of your blood, certainly when you are seated. So they get so full, as your blood just pools in your legs (the storage), and they could break easily. . .. ... Either that or they go varicose.

This article is so interesting. I thought that you have to fight disease with Vit C, stretches, carbonated water, echanachea, a multi-vit? But with more oxygen in your blood??? How interesting. hm Thanks for posting this.

Peace,

Steph

3. Posted by Cupcake (Travel Guru 8468 posts) 11y

Hey Steph,
I have finished my 4 years pre-med, and know more than I ever wanted about DVT's,(vericose viens are harmless, although unattractive, but deep veinous thrombosis are potentially fatal blood clots in the viens) what I didn't realize is how prevalent they are in regards to air travel! This article shocked me..I don't know...I guess I just always assumed they piped more oxygen into the plane enroute, that's what I get for assuming hey?
~CC

4. Posted by bluewaav (Inactive 627 posts) 11y

No Doubt.

peace,

Steph

5. Posted by Travel100 (Travel Guru 1556 posts) 11y

I actually Passed-out on a plane in La Paz, because of a lack of oxygen. I was alreadly a little low on oxygen because the airport is around 14,000 feet above sea level, but once on the plane (with even less oxygen), I actually passed out cold. First a was getting cold sweats, light headed,...didn't know what was happening, felt like I was dying or something, and then out cold.