A recent report by British consumer rights magazine Holiday Which. has condemned commercial airlines by saying that passengers' health is being put at risk from the poor quality of cabin air.
Poor Cabin Air Puts Passengers at Risk
A recent report by British consumer rights magazine Holiday Which? has condemned commercial airlines by saying that passengers' health is being put at risk from the poor quality of cabin air. According to the report, the recycled air in airline cabins exposes passengers to airborne diseases such as tuberculosis and dangerous engine fumes. The report also alleges that some pilots regularly reduce airflow into the cabin to save on fuel - a claim fiercely denied by airline officials. Another problem that the magazine identified was low cabin pressure, which can be problematic for pregnant women, the elderly, and people with heart disease. Editor of Holiday Which? Patricia Yates, said: "The failure of the airline industry to respond to repeated warnings around the world...doesn't give travellers much faith that their health is being sufficiently looked after."
Warming Patients Before Surgery Cuts Infection Rate
Warming a patient before they undergo surgery can significantly reduce their risk of developing wound infections, according to a group of UK researchers. A study of 421 patients who underwent "clean" breast, varicose vein or hernia surgery, revealed that the risk of infection could be reduced from 14% to just 5% by simply warming the patients for 30-minutes before the operation. The researchers believe that pre-operative warming could remove the need for controversial prophylactic antibiotics, which are often given to patients after surgery as a safeguard against infection. As well as being potentially fatal, wound infections are expensive to treat. It is estimated that the treatment of post-surgery infections can cost in excess of $2000, thus pre-operative warming could also help to reduce healthcare costs. The team are now conducting a study to determine whether warming patients up after surgery can help to reduce post-operative pain.
SOURCE/REFERENCE: Lancet 2001; 358: 876-80