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Air Travel with Low Platelets?

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14 years 3 months ago #2280 by bpritikin
Air Travel with Low Platelets? was created by bpritikin
Hi everyone,

I am relatively new to PDSA. I have an 8 year old daughter with chronic ITP. She was diagnosed in February 2009. Our hematologist is currently taking a wait and see approach---my daughter has not been treated with drug therapy. Her latest count was 25,000 4 weeks ago, her lowest count ever since her diagnosis.

I would like to know your perspective on air travel when your son or daughter's platelet counts are low. So far, we have not gone anywhere since her counts have been in the 20-30K range over the last few months.

Thanks in advance for your perspective!

Barb

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14 years 3 months ago #2488 by alisonp
Replied by alisonp on topic Re:Air Travel with Low Platelets?
Hi Barb

I live in the UK, so my experience might be different to someone in the US - doctors here don't seem to get as worked up about ITP generally! Also we didn't do a long haul flight, just the UK to Spain. I would ask your daughter's doctor.

However, for what it is worth, when we had the same discussion with our son's haemotologist, he didn't have any concerns about flying with his platelet count which was lower than your daughters at the time. He WAS concerned that we chose somewhere for the holiday that was close to a good hospital (just in case) and that we had made sure that we had holiday insurance that provided good cover. The flight both ways was uneventful, although my son did have an awful lot of bruising while we were there, so I spent some of the time worrying about being questioned by Spanish social services!!!

We had a great holiday, really relaxing which was good for all of us. I hope that you sort something out and have a similarly great time.

Ali :)

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14 years 3 months ago #2541 by Bunnie
Replied by Bunnie on topic Re:Air Travel with Low Platelets?
As an adult, I've done business travel with counts under 30K with no issues.

I occassionally have bruised from the placement of the seat belt when the landing or take off is a bit rough even at higher counts, so depending on her size, you may consider a car seat or harness-type devices approved by the FAA and carry a small wash cloth or hand towel to pad the metal but still keep it snug enough to work.

Per the Southwest Airlines site for Harness-type devices:
    At this time, the FAA has approved only the AmSafe Aviation CARES, which is appropriate for children weighing between 22 and 44 pounds.
    The AmSafe Aviation CARES must have a label indicating "FAA Approved in Accordance with14CFR 21.305(d), Approved for Aircraft Use Only
www.airsafe.com/kidsafe.htm
www.amsafe.com/products/detail.php?id=6&type=business

Several years ago, one of our parents posted a story of how her child had wandered away at a large convention and when she was taken to the security office to be reunited there was obvious concern with her bruises and threats of calling social services. A letter from her doctor outlining her condition and contact numbers where the authorities could authenticate it might be worth while obtaining before you travel.

"I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them have never happened.\" — Mark Twain\\\\\\"Worry is a misuse of the imagination.\" — Dan Zadra

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14 years 3 months ago #2580 by foursons
Replied by foursons on topic Re:Air Travel with Low Platelets?
I used to worry about flying when my son's counts were less than 20,000, but his doctor has said that it is not a problem. We flew from Asia to the US when he was at 17,000 with no difficulty. We have flown with him at counts less than 10,000 in the US. With all the things we have to worry about with ITP, it is nice to take one of our list.

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14 years 3 months ago #2912 by athos45
Replied by athos45 on topic Re:Air Travel with Low Platelets?
My son always has nosebleeds after plane trips,i just can't pinpoint the reason for it. Anyone have a clue why this triggers a nosebleed?

Father of Tonio, 8 yrs old w Chronic ITP

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11 years 10 months ago #27239 by Str8att
Replied by Str8att on topic Re:Air Travel with Low Platelets?

athos45 wrote: My son always has nosebleeds after plane trips,i just can't pinpoint the reason for it. Anyone have a clue why this triggers a nosebleed?


Hi,

My haematologist gave me a good explanation as I suffer from the same symptoms as your son.
The interior of the human nose has an area where blood vessels are at their closest to the surface. Apparently we all tend to have little haemorrhages on our blood vessels and since the nose is already a sensitive area this happens often, such as sometimes when sneezing, or blowing our noses. With ITP patients this tends to increase as the blood clotting just doesn’t happen that fast with the lack of platelets “closing the hole”.

This also happens with more frequency whenever any of us fly, especially with the sudden pressure changes in plane take-offs and landings.

Hope this helps answering your question.

All the best.

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11 years 10 months ago #27243 by Str8att
Replied by Str8att on topic Air Travel with Low Platelets?
Hi,

I'm wondering if anyone in this forum could give me any information on flying with extremely low platelet counts. I was originally diagnosed about 6 years ago and I was averaging counts of 10K to 20K. I travelled with those counts with no problems. However in the past 6 months my count has dropped to 3K (3,000) and my haematologist has strongly advised not to fly as I could suffer a severe hemorrhage.

Has anyone with similar platelet counts received this kind of information from their doctors?

Thank you.

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7 years 7 months ago #57233 by Sushigrand
Replied by Sushigrand on topic Air Travel with Low Platelets?
Hi!

I haven't seen a recent discussion around this. I was wondering what the advise is now a days with regards to air travel with low platelet count.
My husband last count was 30k and we are plans for vacation are coming up shortly. The flight is 2 and half hours and my husband as such has no other symptoms. He is fine and going about his regular stuff.

Any advise on what should be our course of action, based on the above scenario. Secondly, if the count drops further, but there are no symptoms, is it still safe to fly?

Thanks!

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7 years 7 months ago #57276 by Sandi
Replied by Sandi on topic Air Travel with Low Platelets?
The advice has not changed since this thread was written that I am aware of.

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7 years 7 months ago #57323 by Margaret k
Replied by Margaret k on topic Air Travel with Low Platelets?
My haema is not in favour of me flying with a count below 20. Having received that advice I would not fly as doing so would then invalidate my travel insurance ,ie, I would be flying against medical advice. However although I was just above 20 when I flew from Edinburgh to Dubrovnik last year by the time I came back I found that I must have been nearer 13. Fortunately nothing went wrong.
With a count of 30 it would be quite safe . I had to cancel one flight to France in 2015 and rebook by train because I fell below 20 and the travel insurance covered the cost except for the usual excess fee, after I provided a haema' s letter.

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