FAQ Answer

FAQ Answer

Plaster Cast - If I have a broken limb with a plaster cast on, can I still fly?

Plaster Cast The treatment for a broken arm or leg usually includes a plaster or fibreglass/resin cast to immobilise the broken bone. Checks are made when the cast is first put on to make sure that it isn’t too tight and doesn’t stop the circulation to the tissues. However, problems can still occur if the tissues around the fracture swell after the cast has been applied, either as a result of the injury itself or due to blood pooling in the immobilised limb.

Because of the risk that swelling inside a cast can affect the circulation, many airlines restrict flying during the first 24 or 48 hours after a cast has been fitted. If you need to fly before then, the airline will usually require the cast to be split along its full length before you fly, as any swelling will not then affect the circulation. This can be arranged at the hospital. You may also have to make arrangements to have the cast replaced once you reach your destination. It is helpful to carry a letter confirming the date and time of application of the cast, especially if you have not had the cast split.

If you have a broken arm or leg, you will not be allowed to sit in an emergency exit row. Also, if you have a broken leg and are unable to bend your knee to sit normally, you may be required to purchase additional seats so that you have enough space. This will also allow you to elevate the leg during flight and will reduce any swelling that would occur if you kept the leg down.

Pneumatic Splint. A pneumatic splint is a plastic sleeve or sock which can be inflated with air to form a rigid splint. They are often used by first aiders to immobilise a suspected fractured limb. However, they are not suitable for use when flying, as the pressure within the splint is affected by the changes in air pressure in the aircraft.



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Frequently Asked Questions

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  31. Reduced Mobility - I have reduced mobility and wish to travel by air. Where can I find more information about my rights to assistance during my journey and will I need a medical certificate?
  32. Plaster Cast - If I have a broken limb with a plaster cast on, can I still fly?