9 Tips for Air Ambulance Passengers
If you’re planning to accompany a loved one on a future air ambulance flight, there are some general steps you can take to maximize your comfort and health during the transport. While your mind may be on other things in the days and hours leading up to the transport, remember to take care of yourself.
These basic air travel health tips may also be applicable to passengers who charter air ambulance flights on business jets and are able to sit upright and walk without assistance from the air medical crew during the flight.
There’s never a need to allow yourself to become ill or be in a state of discomfort during a time that may already be stressful. By following these basic tips, you can significantly boost your defenses against common ailments contracted by passengers of high-altitude flights.
- Consider giving your immune system a boost with vitamin C and/or echinacea supplements, starting a few days before the flight. This will help your body fight off any germs that may be circulating in the enclosed space of the aircraft.
- Avoid sitting with your legs crossed, or in other positions that may inhibit circulation in your extremities for long periods.
- Ask the air ambulance service if they keep any snacks and drinks on board (they probably do) and whether you are allowed to bring your own snacks/bottled drinks. This is especially important for keeping your blood sugar and hydration levels normal during long transport flights, but can be important on a transport of any distance.
- Consider taking a decongestant, as directed on the package, the day before the transport to help avoid sinus troubles.
- To avoid the pressure-related middle ear problems commonly experienced on flights, try to yawn widely or swallow while the air ambulance is taking off and landing. If the service allows it, bring some gum to chew during these stages of the flight.
- Avoid consuming caffeine and alcohol in the few hours before the flight. These substances act as dehydrators, and the air inside the aircraft may be dry.
- The temperature during the flight may be too hot or cold. Dress in multiple layers, so you can control your own temperature by adding or removing clothing layers.
- If it’s alright by the crew, stretch your legs by getting up and walking to avoid deep vein thrombosis (DVT)/blood clots.
- Remember to drink plenty of water the day of the flight. This sounds like a basic tip, but it’s so basic that many people forget to do it. Being hydrated during the flight may also help to prevent DVT.
Above all, always follow the air medical crew and your physician’s instructions. They have your best interests at heart. By following their advice first and adding the 9 tips above, you can arrive at the air ambulance’s destination feeling healthier and less exhausted.