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Dr. Hanson
Dr. Hanson, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 935
Experience:  Diplomate, American Board of Quality Assurance & Utilization Review Physicians
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can I fly with broken ribs

Customer Question

I have 2 broken ribs now two weeks have passed and im still in great pain I am going on holiday from uk to canaries on august 23rd can I fly safely
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Hanson replied 9 years ago.

As long as your broken ribs don't cause hemothorax (bleeding into your pleural cavity) or pneumothorax (air in your pleural cavity) then there shouldn't be a problem with air pressure while flying. You may want to splint your ribs with a compression-type garment or an ACE wrap during the flight to help relieve pain when you breathe. Most doctors, however, don't recommend wearing a splint all the time. However, while flying, because of possible changes in air pressure, the splint around your chest can help to relieve painful respiration. Here's a link to an article about a man who flew with a fractured rib that punctured his lung http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FKE/is_2_46/ai_74438311/print

Here's an article about Chuck Yeager, a famous American pilot who flew with broken ribs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Yeager