Papers And Originals

The Sickle-cell and Altitude

Br Med J 1971; 4 doi: (Published 04 December 1971) Cite this as: Br Med J 1971;4:593

This article has a correction. Please see:

  1. R. L. Green,
  2. R. G. Huntsman,
  3. 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.