Can You Fly With Brain Swelling?

When you experience an accident that results in brain swelling while traveling abroad, you may need to travel by plane to an appropriate medical center for care or back home for continued recovery and treatment. Brain swelling can cause serious issues, so you will have to take this into consideration when planning a flight.

What Is Cerebral Edema?

Edema is another word for the swelling that happens in the body. It is a natural response to injury, overuse and infection, and for various parts of the body, it typically goes away on its own with a bit of rest and care. Swelling in the brain, also called cerebral edema, is a more serious issue that requires medical attention to ensure the health and safety of the affected individual.

Cerebral edema occurs when fluid accumulates in the brain, resulting in swelling. As the amount of fluid increases, it may press on different areas of the brain and reduce the supply of blood and oxygen the brain gets. This pressure, which is known as intracranial pressure, can also block fluids from leaving the brain, adding to the swelling.

Fluid can enter the brain in several ways, such as disrupted barriers between the blood circulation and central nervous systems. Damage to these barriers and other bodily systems that protect the brain can come from:

  • Head trauma
  • Strokes
  • Birth injuries
  • Infections
  • Tumors
  • Operations
  • Poisoning
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Altitude sickness

Brain swelling can result in a variety of symptoms, such as:

  • Dizziness
  • Severe headaches
  • Irregular breathing
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Vision changes
  • Seizures
  • Memory loss
  • Impairment of motor function, such as walking

Can You Fly With Cerebral Edema?

Flying alone on a commercial flight with cerebral edema is unsafe. Flying can increase intracranial pressure and put the individual’s life at risk. This is because, as the plane ascends, the air pressure decreases, leaving more room for brain fluids to expand.

You may be able to fly after brain swelling once you have completed treatment and recovered enough to receive a doctor’s permission to travel again. However, you must have had sufficient time to heal and no longer display severe symptoms. Timelines will vary from person to person, so it’s best to discuss your travel options with a doctor before planning a trip.

When an individual travels abroad and experiences an accident resulting in cerebral edema, flying may be the only option to ensure proper medical attention or a full recovery at home. In this situation, flying in an air ambulance is the safest option. Air ambulances can regulate their cabin air pressure to ensure safety and comfort for individuals with this brain injury.

Restrictions With Cerebral Edema and Flying

Many airlines only allow passengers with serious illnesses and injuries onboard after they have reviewed their medical records and deemed them fit to fly. In these cases, individuals with cerebral edema are usually not allowed to board commercial flights. Several airlines also have restrictions and regulations for the types of IV fluids and oxygen containers allowed on flights, which may affect some patients with this condition.

The Best Options for Flying After a Brain Injury

Since commercial flights have many restrictions and risks for those with cerebral edema, it is not a recommended travel option. It is often not a possibility, either, so individuals with cerebral edema will need to plan for alternative types of transportation.

For patients who have received treatment for a brain injury and have had sufficient recovery time, traveling with a medical escort on a commercial flight can be reassuring. A trained medical professional can bring security, comfort and peace of mind when flying. They will accompany individuals through every step of their travel experience to assist in case of an emergency. This option is best for individuals who have received permission to fly again from their doctor but would like the help of a professional throughout their journey.

For those currently experiencing brain swelling, an air ambulance is the best transportation option. An air ambulance can generate a higher air pressure within the cabin, helping to manage cerebral edema even while traveling at high altitudes. These aircraft come equipped with the latest medical technology and equipment so that patients can receive necessary care throughout their flight. Air ambulances are staffed with medical professionals who can attend to patients mid-air, ensuring their comfort, health and safety.

Will Your Insurance Pay for a Flight With Cerebral Edema?

Some insurance providers will help cover expenses for flights if they determine them to be medically necessary or medically reasonable. Every insurance company and policy will have different coverage conditions, so individuals will need to work with their insurance to understand what options are available. Travel insurance may cover the costs of a flight with cerebral edema, but it’s essential to check the terms and conditions to understand the coverage details.

How REVA Can Help With Air Travel

At REVA, your well-being is our main priority. When you or a loved one are experiencing cerebral edema and need to travel, we have the expertise and experience to facilitate safety and comfort throughout the flight.

We offer a variety of flight services, such as:

  • Emergency: When individuals need life-saving medical care for a brain injury, we can provide the necessary urgent emergency flight and mid-air medical services.
  • Non-emergency: Our non-emergency flights are a safe alternative to commercial airlines for individuals with cerebral edema.
  • Domestic: We have a fleet of air ambulances and several hubs throughout the United States to help you reach domestic destinations quickly and safely.
  • International: Our worldwide alliance network allows us to transport clients anywhere they need to go, whether that be home or a specialized medical facility in another country.

When you fly with REVA, you can trust the details to us. We will manage various aspects of your transportation by:

  • Arranging for ground travel: We provide bedside-to-bedside services to ensure safe and efficient travel on the ground and in the air. Our team will take care of your transport so that you can focus on recovery.
  • Working with insurance: Our team will check insurance, determine coverage, prepare documents and more to assist you with finding the best financial solutions. We work closely with insurance payors to identify benefits that will help you the most. With REVA, you can rest assured that you won’t end up with a hefty bill at the end of your transport.
  • Providing expert medical care: REVA’s medical professionals have the extensive experience needed to ensure the health and safety of each client. They undergo rigorous training to keep up with the latest procedures that will benefit our clients.
  • Communicating clearly and frequently: Our multi-lingual team will work with clients and their families to provide constant communication throughout the transportation process. We’ll help everyone stay updated with essential information.
  • Ensuring safety: We take a proactive approach to safety, enabling us to exceed safety regulations when transporting clients and employees. From medical personnel to flight crews, each member of our team is prepared to create a secure flight for you.

Request a Quote for a Medical Flight Today

Trust REVA to get you to your destination quickly and comfortably. Our team is available 24/7 to arrange medical flights, so contact us online to learn how we can help. Request your quote today to find the secure transportation you need when traveling with cerebral edema.