The Sickle-cell and AltitudeBr Med J 1971; 4 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.4.5787.593 (Published 04 December 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;4:593
- R. L. Green,
- R. G. Huntsman,
- G. R. Serjeant
High altitude seemed to be responsible for seven recent cases of sickling crisis. People with sickle-cell trait are at risk if they fly in unpressurized aircraft, which are used for many local air services. Those with sickle-cell haemoglobin C disease should avoid air travel even in pressurized aircraft. Possibly as a result of “autosplenectomy,” patients with sickle-cell anaemia seem to be able to fly in pressurized aircraft with little risk. All passengers and aircrew who might have some form of sickle-cell disease should be screened before flight.