Air Travel

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Air Travel

by I-am-hurting on Wed Jan 18, 2012 04:33 PM

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I have a question for you wonderful folks. Can a person with glioblastoma take a trip in an airplane safely? My father has an inoperable tumor, and he is talking about wanting to take a very long -more than 4 hour- flight.  I have plenty of other reservations with this idea, but I am extra concerned about the safety of flying under these circumstances.

RE: Air Travel

by heart_and_soul on Wed Jan 18, 2012 04:54 PM

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Shouldn't be a problem, as long as he is able to sit comfortably. It's not bad for the brain. It would be good for him -- even more than for the rest of us -- to get up and stretch every hour or so to prevent blood clots. Brain tumor treatments tend to make a person a bit more susceptible. My son went on, uhhh, countless flights in the 17 months we had. Some were up to 6 hours.

Of course he would want to have all his prescriptions plus enough to cover any delays, and the name of his doctor plus other emergency contacts, in case anyone needs to call. We also had the names of doctors in the areas Andy was visiting, just in case. Never needed it but it was peace of mind.

I'm generally supportive of anything a person wants to do, given these circumstances. If it was me, I think I'd be all over the place! :o)

Good luck to your father.

Sarah

m/o Andy 1982-2010

RE: Air Travel

by jon4156 on Wed Jan 18, 2012 05:24 PM

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The short answer is yes, but you need to consider his condition before making your final decision.  My wife and I traveled across country (6 hour flight) about five months after her surgery without any problems but I rate her karnofsky score as a 90 and she has had no post-surgical seizures.

The cabin pressure in a commercial airliner is about half of sea level and there is some evidence that reduced atmospheric pressure can cause some issues with people prone to seizures.  We've discussed this before on this forum but I can't recall what the title of the thread was.

Realize that if he has a seizure on the flight the pilot could assess it as a medical emergency and force the plane to land short of its destination.  That puts you in an unfamiliar city with doctors who are truly unfamiliar with his medical history and is going to make the trip home a lot more complicated.  The airline and all the passengers who miss their connecting flights are not going to be happy campers.

I would recommend discussing the trip with his doctor and with your fathers expected itinerary in hand.  At the airport, after your father gets through security, have him notify the gate attendant that he has a medical condition and wants to board ahead of the other passengers.  We were able to do this on our flights and it was a huge help not having to be part of the cattle drive boarding the plane and fighting for a place to put our carry-ons.  Our trip was non-stop so we sat still upon landing and were the last ones out of the plane.  Anything you can plan out to ease the stress of flying is a good thing.

 

RE: Air Travel

by Lorre_G on Wed Jan 18, 2012 05:24 PM

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Sarah is absolutely correct.  There is no medical reason that he can't fly with a GBM.

Lorre

RE: Air Travel

by Ducks-n-Row on Wed Jan 18, 2012 05:27 PM

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Taking the proper precautions etc why not. I just flew down to Brazil for Christmas and New Years about 10-11 hour flight.

Hope

Dx Nov 07

RE: Air Travel

by I-am-hurting on Wed Jan 18, 2012 06:46 PM

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Thanks everyone!

He loves to travel, so it's good to know flying is something that can probably happen. I am worried about seizures. He is taking a heavy dose of meds to prevent that, but you never know. If he knows the risks/possible scenarios and still wants to press on with a trip, then he should . : )

RE: Air Travel

by Ducks-n-Row on Wed Jan 18, 2012 06:55 PM

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Just a tidbit ......I am taking 1000mg of Keppra twice daily to control seizures.

Hope

Dx Nov 07

RE: Air Travel

by I-am-hurting on Wed Jan 18, 2012 06:57 PM

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Hey Ducks-in-Row, that's what my Dad is taking.

RE: Air Travel

by heart_and_soul on Wed Jan 18, 2012 08:44 PM

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And so was Andy, preventatively, and he never had a seizure.

RE: Air Travel

by Ducks-n-Row on Wed Jan 18, 2012 09:20 PM

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Little more then 4 years out and have not seized........at least I dont think so....missing half a brain lol.

Crane still in view....always

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