Hypoventilation patients at risk during air travel

London: Obese people who suffer from hypoventilation should be cautious while travelling via air.

Severely overweight people who suffer from hypoventilation can have abnormally low levels of oxygen (hypoxaemia) in their blood during air travel as a result of reduced atmospheric pressure in the aircraft cabin, says a new research.

During the study, even patients diagnosed with obesity hypoventilation syndrome who were under care and had normal daytime blood oxygen levels were found at risk of hypoxaemia when flying.

"It is advisable for all hypoventilation syndrome patients to do a hypoxic challenge test before air travel to be prepared for the possibility that supplementary oxygen on-board or non-invasive ventilation is needed," said lead author Masood Ali.

The study appeared in the Journal of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology.

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