What to Do If You See Someone Having a Heart Attack on a Plane
Flying thousands of feet above the ground isn’t just stressful for pilots; regular travelers should also be on guard for heart-related risks. Recent events highlight that our heroes of the sky, pilots, are suffering from heart issues mid-flight. But why is this happening, especially since they’re checked regularly?
What’s Affecting Pilots?
Pilots are tasked with the monumental responsibility of ensuring passenger safety. This alone can be stressful. But couple that with long hours, irregular sleep, and high-altitude conditions, and you have a perfect storm for heart strain. The reduced air pressure, dehydration, and the sedentary nature of flying all play their part. Notably, these conditions can cause arrhythmias, an abnormal heart rhythm.
Many are curious: can the stress of flying cause cardiac issues? Especially for those with existing heart problems? Indeed, if someone’s oxygen saturation is around 90% or they suffer from moderate heart failure, they might need on-board medical oxygen. Those with severe issues should think twice before flying commercially.
Preventing Mid-Air Health Issues
- Regular Medical Checks: Know your heart’s health early on.
- Healthy Living: Stay active, eat healthily, and manage stress.
- Prioritize Sleep: Good sleep isn’t just for babies; it’s crucial for your heart.
- Balanced Work Hours: Especially for pilots, reasonable hours and breaks are essential.
Advice for the Regular Jet-setter
It’s not just pilots; even frequent flyers need to be wary of heart risks. Travelling for long hours, adjusting to new time zones, and the general hustle and bustle of air travel can all be taxing on the heart.
So, how can you fly safer?
- Stay Hydrated: Drink water regularly to fend off dehydration.
- Move Around: Simple in-flight exercises can prevent blood clots. Think ankle circles and calf stretches.
- Medication: Keep a good stock in your carry-on, just in case.
- Dress Smart: Compression stockings can promote blood circulation.
- Seat Choice: Opt for an aisle seat for easy movement.
- Watch Your Diet: Limit caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals mid-air.
If you have heart conditions, always get a health professional’s advice before a long flight. Stay safe and fly high!