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My father is a heart patient, how safe is it for him to travel by air?

Q: I am working in UK and my parents want to visit me on a tourist visa. My father is 68 years old and had two heart attacks. First one was in 1980 and the second one (massive) in 1999. He is under constant medication since then. Every three months he visits a cardiologist and he is leading a normal life with restrictive travelling. Till now he never boarded an aircraft. I am sending this mail to clarify the following: a) How safe it is for him to travel by plane? He is generally an anxious person and suffers from hypertension. b) Whether the change in climatic conditions will have any impact? He is in southern India and will be travelling to UK in the month of April. He will bring all his medications along with him and he will be here in UK for 3 months.

A:I wish to know more medical details about your father, e.g. whether an angiography was done, if yes what were the results, whether an echocardiography was done and what is the ejection fraction, is the blood pressure well controlled on the current medication, and does he get shortness of breath on exertion? You should also speak with the cardiologist who has been examining him every 3 months. Generally speaking, there is no contraindication for heart patients to travel by air. Since he is of an anxious nature, it might be good if he takes an anti-anxiety medication like Tab. Alprax 0.25 mg SOS, just prior to boarding the aircraft. Since he will be staying with you for 3 months, he should have check-up prior to leaving and after returning. Please also discuss taking an insurance plan. God forbid that he needs medical help in UK!

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