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Travelling after a head injury - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Head Injuries
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2582 Questions
User :   a teenage family friend suffered a level 3 concussion last month, and then had an episode last Friday of severe headache, tremors and loss of leg son had to carry her to the car to get her to the ER. Next day she seemed to have recovered, though she had little memory of the event. Now, she is supposed to travel overseas next week via airline and we are concerned about extended air travel. I am a commercial airline pilot and know that our aircraft pressurize to 6 to 8 thousand feet on high level cruise. Just wondering if she (she's 16) should be flying right now.
Doctor :   hello
User :   hi
Doctor :   give me a min please, i am going thru your query
User :   thanks
Doctor :   now last friday when the episode happened, what all tests were done ?
User :   cat scan, though I don't know the results
Doctor :   and when is she due to fly again ?
User :   am really just worried about effects of long term aircraft pressurization and long time in the airplane. She flies this Sunday or Monday
Doctor :   ok now the results of the CT are also not out
Doctor :   i would recommend that she should NOT fly as thats correct the pressurization can cause problem
Doctor :   she needs to wait in for the results and then a neurologist has to be be consulted
User :   as far as I know, that is correct. I believe the results were sent to neurologist in another town for analysis. I agree with you. Unfortunately I am not the parent, but we will make that input to them
User :   any other thoughts on problems associated with air travel and concussions?
Doctor :   well the skull is sure strong enough to bear the pressure changes but a recent episode in this case
Doctor :   does warrants that she has a physical examination done before she can fly
User :   ok. I will pass that on...thank you!
Doctor :   your most welcome
Doctor :   take care
User :   and you
Doctor :   good bye
User :   bye
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