What happens when we fly?

Friday 17th Jun 2016, 2.55pm

Oxygen levels are slightly lower when you fly on commercial airlines, so what effects does this have on people? Can it cause any problems? Dr Thomas Smith is both a researcher and a clinician with an interest in heart and lung function, specifically in relation to aviation. He describes what happens to the body when we fly and how the decreased pressure, equivalent to being 8,000ft up a mountain and equivalent lower oxygen levels, affects our bodies. This usually isn’t a problem for healthy individuals but those with certain medical conditions could be at risk, and they want to find out how to make better, evidence-based, medical decisions about who can and can’t fly.