Air Travelers with Health Issues Should Take Precautions

A physician who helped out in an in-flight medical emergency reminds us that travelers who are older or have health issues should take some precautions.

Linda Reilman, a Kettering Health Network physician, assisted a 72-year-old man who fell unconscious on an overnight flight from Hawaii to Dallas. The doctor learned he had a history of heart problems but showed no symptoms before passing out in his seat. She started an IV to give him fluids and the traveler awoke.

“… it really seemed like he was more dehydrated and just very stressed from rushing around during the day getting prepared for travel,” said Reilman.

“I think it’s important for everyone to remember, especially for those people taking longer flights and if you are elderly and have pre-existing conditions,” she said.  “It’s harder on those people and you have to move more.”

“You should make sure you have eaten, and you are hydrated and because your legs are down for six to eight hours and the seat hits the back of your legs, you should move around and stretch,” Reilman told the Hamilton (Ohio) Journal-News.

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