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Have pericarditis. Tests showing low risk. Having pain. Is it safe to travel in this condition?

Apr 2013
User rating for this question
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Answered by

General Surgeon
Practicing since : 2009
Answered : 5688 Questions
Hi, I have pericarditis and was admitted to hospital on Wednesday (4 days ago). It was very painful for 3 days but today seems to have made a big improvement. I had an ECG, blood test, chest x-ray and various other checks whilst at the hospital and they told me I was very low risk, and that this would pass in a few days. However, although I am feeling much better now I am still obviously in pain and on Monday I have to take a train from London to France (which goes very deep underground, pressure issues etc). My question is, is there any risk involved with this travelling?
Posted Sat, 2 Nov 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 23 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Hi and welcome to XXXXXXX

Detailed Answer:
i suppose this was acute viral pericarditis without pericardial fluid accumulation because if there was bacterial pericarditis or cardiac tamponade,you would be still in hospital.
If those tests were fine then the recovery from this your type of pericarditis is usually rapid and you should not be worried about it.
Also, short travelling(less than 4 hours) through la manche wont cause any problem and you there is no risk for your heart function. Only longer airplane travelling may be problematic in your case.
The depth of tunnel has no any or just minor effect on cardiovascular system and blood pressure and even if it does,this is not something that can cause worsening of symptoms or recurence of this disease. Just rest in next several days, avoid running and weight lifting and visit doctor if you notice chest pain again.
WIsh you good health. Feel free to ask. Regards
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Have pericarditis. Tests showing low risk. Having pain. Is it safe to travel in this condition? 12 hours later
Thank you for the reassurance. I am better again today so it does seem that the recovery is rapid as you say. One question that did spring to mind (given that I will be in Paris) is whether it is safe to drink coffee? I have been avoiding it during the illness due to increased heart rate causing pain but would like to indulge in the odd cafe au lait if possible.
Answered by Dr. Ivan R. Rommstein 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Detailed Answer:
Well, one cup of coffee is not some dosage of caffeine that will cause some significant elevation of HR. But try to have just one per day and dont take it on empty stomach.Also,remember that most teas and energy drinks have caffeine too so avoid it if you drink coffee that day.
Enjoy in Paris.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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