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Air travel after op on fractured hip

(15 Posts)
AuldAlliance Sat 27-Jun-15 13:41:58

My brother, who is 38, has fractured his hip while on holiday in France. He is being operated on as I type, I presume for plates/pins rather than a hip replacement, so I guess his recovery time will be quite long. My mother is with him, as they were on holiday together, but she is a bit lost.

He has nowhere to stay after the surgery and I wonder whether his insurance would cover air repatriation. I know that has to be done as soon as possible for it to be refunded by the insurance company, so was wondering if anyone could tell me whether he would be able to fly after that kind of surgery and how long after the operation he would be considered at risk for DVT or other post-surgical issues.

Any help gratefully received.

CMOTDibbler Sat 27-Jun-15 17:29:55

He needs to contact his travel insurer asap to discuss. They can fly just about anyone, including on stretchers if necessary, but will balance that against paying for him to stay in a hotel until able to travel independantly using the special assistance at the airport.

LIZS Sat 27-Jun-15 17:40:12

He also needs to ensure that his medical treatment will be fully covered (ehic may cover only emergency care at local clinic not ambulance or private healthcare ) ,also for additional costs for family extending their stay and rearrangement of travel etc . If he cannot call can his next of kin or someone with him?

AuldAlliance Sat 27-Jun-15 22:11:07

Thanks for your replies.
He has no travel insurance AFAIK. My mother bought their tickets online with Ryanair and Easyjet so is looking into what her credit card cover will fund.
I tried to look at what EHIC will cover and it's v vague though it boasts a mobile app apparently full of the right info, which I couldn't get to work. And I couldn't get anyone on the phone either.

Mum is trying to get as much admin info as possible, but this being France and tomorrow being Sunday she hasn't yet spoken to an actual doctor, only nurses, and probably won't get hold of anyone more senior till Monday.

I just wondered, medically, whether hip ops aren't a DVT risk which would make flying, even with airport assistance, etc., impossible for the near future...

MountainDweller Sat 27-Jun-15 23:54:15

All ops have some dvt risk, but I'm not sure if a hip op is more risky than others. It is common here in France to be given blood thinning drugs after surgery - I can't remember the name, but they were ones you inject yourself. Anyway, they would lower the risk somewhat. My dr was happy for me to take a short flight a week after abdo surgery with the injections.

AuldAlliance Sun 28-Jun-15 17:23:59

Thanks.
I found online some info that after a hip replacement there is a higher risk of DVT but not sure about this op. She should get to talk to a doctor on Monday.

PestoSwimissimos Sun 28-Jun-15 17:30:22

I would have thought he would be more comfortable on a train,more room to stretch out.

PestoSwimissimos Sun 28-Jun-15 17:33:11

Also, if he still does intend to fly home, the airline will need a 'fit to fly certificate' from his doctor before allowing him to fly.

basildonbond Mon 29-Jun-15 08:32:33

Dh broke his hip a few months ago and had a dynamic hip screw - the good news is he was encouraged to weight bear as soon as he could bear it as that helps the recovery process

The bad news is that his doctors said absolutely no flying for at least 6 weeks and even then they had to declare him as fit to fly before he could get on a plane - he does a lot of traveling for work so this was a big problem for him

I hope your brother is ok

basildonbond Mon 29-Jun-15 08:33:29

And yes big risk of DVT - dh had warfarin then long term low dose aspirin

basildonbond Mon 29-Jun-15 08:34:13

And still needs to wear v attractive compression stockings when flying 6 months post op

3littlefrogs Mon 29-Jun-15 08:39:20

Hip surgery is very high risk for DVT/PE - particularly after trauma.
However, European guidelines are that patients should be given prophylactic treatment with anticoagulants for at least 30 days, and often this is extended to 6 weeks in high risk cases.

So - he can fly as long as he has the right medication.
However, sitting in the wrong sort of seat might be detrimental to his recovery as his hip might be in the wrong position.

Low dose aspirin is no longer considered appropriate or effective.

There are better, newer drugs available now.

3littlefrogs Mon 29-Jun-15 08:42:34

Agree that flying probably not the best way to travel.
He will be in hospital for several days so there will be time to look into the options.

AuldAlliance Mon 29-Jun-15 23:33:36

Sorry for not replying sooner, have had a hectic day.
Hospital say they are having trouble communicating with him and he'd be better off at home where there is no language barrier, to make physio etc. easier (and get him off their plate...).
He was in a chair already yesterday, clearly they think he is better not lying horizontal.
Surgeon says he can fly quite soon, using crutches and with wheelchair assistance. Slight hitch in that we can't find a direct flight, and a connection will be a faff, but looks better than I feared.

Thanks so much for all your input.

Rosa Mon 29-Jun-15 23:39:44

Careful ... Even if the docs say he will be fit to fly you might flind that the airlines will refuse to take him as they will have their own set if guidelines and they can and will refuse to accept him even if you have bought the tickets. Every airline is different. Wishing you luck and yes maybe the train might be better........

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