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Immunizations and Antibiotics for Oversea Travel (cont.)

Air Travel Restrictions

There are a number of conditions that can limit your ability to travel by air. It is important that travelers know these restrictions.

  • Recent heart attack: No travel above 2,000 feet for four to six weeks
  • Heart failure: No travel for two weeks after an acute decompensation. Then no travel above 10,000 feet
  • COPD: No travel if vital capacity is less than 50% of predicted value
  • Pneumothorax: No air travel for at least 10 days
  • Pregnancy: No surface travel above 15,000 ft.
  • Anemia: Oxygen required if hemoglobin below 8.5g/dl
  • Sickle cell disease (SS or SC variants): Avoid travel, especially to high elevations
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): For patients with a history of DVT, it is important to get up and move frequently, move the feet a lot, and consider using compressive stockings.
  • Recent abdominal surgery with colostomy or ileostomy: No travel for one to 14 days
  • Recent eye surgery: Check with your ophthalmologist.
  • Recent scuba diving: Wait at least 12 hours before flying. If decompression stops occurred, wait 24 hours.


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