Travel insurance is important, but aviation is safe
03 March 2009 07:04
The importance of travel insurance for people with pre-existing medical conditions has been highlighted by a recent rise in mid-flight health emergencies but one organisation has claimed that aviation still has an "excellent" safety record.
According to the Civil Aviation Authority's (CAA) Aviation Health Unit (AHU), it is important for people with personal medical conditions to seek advice about the effects of flying before they travel.
The AHU, which informs the public and government of health issues in the aviation industry, was responding to a study published in the Lancet medical journal this month, which implied that travel insurance is crucial because of the increased medical risks associated with long-haul flight.
Dr Ray Johnston, head of the unit, suggested that local medical advisers can provide health information to passengers "in consultation with the airline involved".
However, he stated: "While there has been an increase in recent years in the number of on-board medical emergencies, aviation still has an excellent safety record."
The Lancet study claimed that two billion people travel aboard commercial airlines every year, during which time they are subjected to environmental and physiological changes that can exacerbate chronic conditions.