what it is and how to avoid it

A 46-year-old Argentine woman died on a flight from Barcelona to the Argentine city of Ezeiza, the newspaper reported. horn. The incident occurred last Friday when the woman was on a flight with her daughter and suffered a decompensation during the journey.

At first it was thought he was panicking two hours before touchdown, but the crew of Level Airlines IB2601 quickly began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The flight landed at 10.15am (five hours away in Madrid), but upon arrival in Buenos Aires it was found that nothing could be done to save his life. The media quoted sources as saying that the captain of the plane notified the Ezeiza control tower about 40 minutes before landing that they were dead (deceased) and activated the protocol provided for these cases after their arrival on Earth.

The first reports suggested it could have been a pulmonary thromboembolism caused by a blood clot in the lungs, although local authorities urged test results to confirm the cause of death.

This case adds to the question of what constitutes flight decompensation, which is a viable hypothesis, but uncommon. First, a little background: Commercial aircraft typically fly at altitudes between 1,800 and 3,000 meters, where oxygen saturation is at the normal limit, assuming an arterial oxygen pressure of 60 to 65 mmHg It takes a little deep breath to feel comfortable.

However, the extreme case of arterial partial pressure of oxygen falling well below the acceptable limit of 60 mmHg in patients with limited oxygen-carrying capacity traveling under these conditions has not been reported. Argentine dead woman.

Hypoxic or hypoxic conditions that occur inside an aircraft may favor complications in some individuals. As a result, people with heart disease, lung disease or severe anemia may experience so-called “increased biological stress”, cardiac arrhythmias, angina, heart failure decompensation and respiratory distress during the flight.

Additionally, on long journeys, people with poor oxygenation may experience some degree of restlessness, restlessness, and even disorientation.

As the pressure decreases (or decompresses) at altitude, the gas expands and, as a result, the body’s air cells expand and attempt to expel their contents through the corresponding tubes. Therefore, if any of them are covered, the internal pressure increases, which can lead to a series of complications, explains bronchopulmonary surgeon Rodrigo Soto on the website of the Alemana clinic in Chile.

“This is why people with a cold who have a blocked Eustachian tube (the tube that runs from the back of the throat to the middle ear) experience severe ear pain when flying and may even experience bleeding in the middle ear. Flying can also be a disease.” It can be a traumatic experience for someone with a tooth abscess, as changes in pressure can exacerbate symptoms. Therefore, these individuals are advised to resolve the issue before boarding the aircraft. ‘ he suggested.

By the same mechanism, patients with severe pneumocephalus (a buildup of air in the brain cavity) may develop complications at high altitudes, as the pneumocephalus expands and presses on the brain during air travel. A similar situation occurs in patients with pneumothorax, which is why these patients must be diverted with a functioning drain. It is known that people who have distended bowel due to gas may also experience decompensation, a problem that can occur after abdominal surgery.

what can be done

To prevent any of these symptoms from developing and triggering a serious reaction during the flight, patients must anticipate and take precautions. Some even ask the doctor for a flight report and inform the passengers, which is a good preventive measure.

If in doubt, before starting the trip, different tests can be done on the person in order to predict the oxygen pressure in flight and how it will affect it. “If it is determined that your oxygen pressure may have dropped more than recommended, you can fly, but you must ask the airline to provide you with supplemental oxygen during the flight,” the doctor added.

If the person experiences one of these conditions on board, “they are advised to notify the crew immediately so that the pilot can take appropriate action, including waiting for the situation to improve to make an unscheduled stopover so that the person affected can be cared for accordingly”.

Common Egarsat also adds a list of contraindications that must be considered when flying, just in case:

Cardiovascular Contraindications

Unstable angina. Recent myocardial infarction (2-3 weeks). Decompensated heart failure. Recent coronary intervention (15 to 30 days). Uncontrolled ventricular arrhythmia.

Recent cerebrovascular accident (Ictus).

Respiratory Contraindications

Severe and decompensated chronic obstructive disease. Patients on home oxygen therapy. Recent or unresolved pneumothorax. Pneumomediastinum. Emphysema and severe bullous disease. Active tuberculosis. Recent pulmonary embolism. Severe bronchial asthma poorly controlled. Decompression sickness. Pulmonary Overpressure Syndrome. Flying is also not recommended after exposure to high pressure due to diving (you must wait at least 12-24 hours since your last dive).

ENT contraindications

Processes and/or infections that alter the permeability of the Eustachian tube. Recent middle and/or inner ear intervention. Acute otitis media or sinusitis.

Ophthalmic Contraindications

Recent retinal detachment (wait at least three weeks after intervention if intraocular gas has been used)

surgical contraindications

Abdominal surgery in the past two weeks, including laparoscopic insufflation surgery. Recently had bariatric surgery. Recently had thoracic surgery. A recently placed metal prosthesis.

Obstetric Contraindications

Uncomplicated pregnancy beyond 36 weeks. Multiple pregnancy from 32 weeks onwards. Threat of miscarriage or premature birth. Neonates under 48 hours.

Trauma Contraindications

Severe chest trauma. Abdominal trauma. Craniofacial and ocular injuries. Epidural hematoma. Recently suffered severe multiple injuries.

Psychiatric and Nervous System Contraindications

Active or decompensated psychosis. Shock crisis. Uncompensated epilepsy. Alcoholism.

Infectious Contraindications

active infectious disease.

Hematological Contraindications

Symptomatic sickle cell anemia. Syndrome producing hypercoagulable states and thromboembolic disorders.severe hemoglobin anemia

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