Atrial fibrillation and flying

For patients with AF, flying can be a daunting prospect. Firstly, provided your AF is well controlled and you are not extremely symptomatic, there is no reason why you can’t fly.

The following tips may help you have a worry-free trip.

  1. You should declare your AF to your travel insurer and consider buying specialist AF travel cover.
  2. It is important to take all the medications that you need and keep them in your carry-on luggage.
  3. It is advisable to keep well hydrated and avoid excessive alcohol on the flight.
  4. It is also advisable to mobilise frequently during the flight. This will reduce the risk of blood clots in your legs.
  5. Before leaving, look at medical centres in or close to your holiday destination just in case you have a medical emergency
  6. You can consider wearing a medical alert bracelet with information about your condition printed on it.

If you are a pilot and have AF, we recommend that you contact your regulatory authority and seek their advice before flying.

About the Author:

Dr Sanjay Gupta
I'm Dr Sanjay Gupta, a Consultant Cardiologist with specialist interest in Cardiac Imaging at York Teaching Hospital in York, UK. I believe that high quality reliable jargon-free information about health should be available at no cost to everyone in the world.

One Comment

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    Eileen Frost 27th July 2018 at 9:25 am - Reply

    A very interesting and informative blog. I am 87, recently widowed, and have had permanent AF which was diagnosed about 2 years ago. I have had one heart attack in the past (stent inserted). Also, I take Apixaban twice daily. Thankyou, Sanjay for all your interesting and helpful articles. I always feel reassured after reading them on here.

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