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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum

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Would like to ask others how they have coped with air travel.

As a below knee amputee, am I more/less likely to be in danger of DVT.

Do I need to take any extra precautions than other travellers.

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Hi Ann

I am also a below knee amputee. I have flown so many times without problems arising. I do not think we are at any greater or lessor risk than those with two legs. In fact maybe less risk as we do not have much of a limb left below the knee for a DVT to develope. :D

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I have not flown since I lost my leg. Have you had issues with security or seating? I would think that the "bulk-head" seats would be more comfortable. Can anyone share their knowledge/experiences?

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Deb,

Bulk head seating is the best to sit in but you have to make sure that the plane that you are traveling on doesn't have the emergency doors in that row. Some do, some don't. As far as airports I haven't had too many problems. When you get there just see someone from you airline and they can get a wheel chair to bring you right up to your gate. They will take the shoe of your prosthetic but I haven't had them make me take my leg off yet :blink:

Dwayne

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Dwayne,

Thanks for the info. I called Delta, who confirmed that I could gate-check my wheelchair (I am still building up to walking long distances). Mostly I wear sandals, so I hope the shoes won't be a problem. But, I have heard of stories where people had to take their leg off and they ran it though the x-ray machine!

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Guest janey-ney

Hey everyone!

I have actually flown many times since my bk amputation (3 years ago) and have never had any problems. The personnell are always very helpful to make sure I get proper bulk head seating. Usually, you have to make sure to get ther early enough so they can accomodate you, but the last time I flew, all bulk head was taken because I was late, so American airlines upgraded me for free! :D I was impressed!

And the only time I have ever come close to having to remove my leg was JFK in New York and Chrles de Gaulle in Paris. They made me go into the small little rooms and show my leg, but never remove it.

Hope that helps! By the way, can anyone explain what DVT is? Am I just a little slow and missing something? Thanks! ;)

Janey-ney

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Thanks Jayne-nee! I hope my trip goes as smoothly as yours have.

Here is a brief answer to your question...

DVT = deep vein thrombosis or blood clot. With regards to air travel, you might hear the term ‘economy class syndrome’. There are a numerous ways, besides air travel, to develop a blood clot. I am sure there is a lot of info on the web about them and ways to try and prevent them.

Happy trails!

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Hi Guys!

It had been such a long while since I last posted anything.

I love travelling and after my amputation, one concern is, how will it affect travelling?

Had been following this thread for quite some time, but do not really understand what's a bulk head seating? Can someone explain to me??

Thanks folks!:)

Agnes

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Agnes,

Bulk head seating gives you more leg room so you can stretch out..... I am a RBK so I try to get the isle seat so I can stretch my leg out. I haven't flown in quite a few years but will be flying next may to MS to watch my Nephew graduate from HS and maybe again for the ACA unless I decide to drive but that will be 12 hrs in a car not sure if I want to do that..

Brenda

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Hi folks,

I have flown many many times since my RBK and never had any physical problems (other than the foot coming loose as in the funny stories topic).

I concur with what Dwayne said re "bulk head seating" if this seat is in the exit row, the airline cannot legally seat you there.

Re airport security - many airports will now pat search you through security.

One reminder to all, when flying your body swells slightly due to the lower than sea level air pressure the aircraft cabin is kept at, don't be tempted to remove your prothesis for comfort, you might'nt get it back on straight away when you land.

Rgds Glenn

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Hello all!

I will take my first flight as a RBK in mid September, but found some information that was helpful. Website http://www.seatguru.com/ gives information on the legroom for different types of aircraft. They have drop downs for six airlines and a FAQ section that might provide info for others.

After I made my reservations with Delta on-line, I called them and they moved my seat to a bulkhead, non-exit, row. They block these seats for people with needs such as ours. There was only one leg (no pun intended) of my journey where they couldn't over-ride the block, but advised me to check with the attendants at the gate.

Happy trails...

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Dear All,

I am a BK amp and find that there are no problems with travelling. I have taken short two-three hour flights quite frequently and also six hour bus trip twice. I am not very comcerned about swelling and difficulty of wearing the leg if I have removed it during the flight. I think the same rule applies to amps as other people; take walks once and a while along the ailes. This should prevent the swelling to certain extent. I never had difficulty to put the leg back on in aircraft or bus. I do not feel comfortable sitting for long periods knees bent; the bulkhead seat helps on this as one can straighten the leg. However, taking the leg off is even more comfortable. I always ask for an aisle seat though, because putting the leg back on is easier if you can stick it to the aisle. Ofcourse you must know which leg it is to have the aisle on the correct side to your seat.

The clothes that you wear is also important should you want to take your leg off during the flight. I use shorts if possible or alternatively stretch fabric pants to make donning the leg easy. Stretch fabric allows you to pull the hose up to your thigh.

The word "bulkhead" has its origin from ships and how seafarers call a wall. The term has been adopted for aircraft as many other terms they use are from ships. Just to provide an answer for those who did not know. I am a seafarer.

Regards,

Jukka

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Hi All:

As a bilat aka, I have not to date experienced any problems. I get to go through security a lot faster than full fleshed people.

I need bulk head seating - no if / and / or buts. I think any aka would require these. Not just tyo stretch out as somebody else has said but my "knees" require additional room for me to just sit. There is no way I could sit in a regular sardine crammed seat.

ED

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I now have four more flights "under my belt" after flying from Utah to NH, via Vegas. I have to say I had a great experience with the whole thing. Security at the airport in Salt Lake City, and in Manchester NH was top of the line, very professional. I helped them out by wearing pants those days that I could pull up to fully expose my leg, so they could see the top of it. My kids knew ahead of time that I would be pulled aside so we worked out a plan for them to get my stuff from the xray machine.

As I approached the metal detector I would just pull up my pant leg, show them that I knew I would "beep" and they would shake their head and point me over to the chairs. I would sit on a chair, they waved the wand over both my legs, did the swab test on my leg and my palms and I was done. I got patted down a tiny bit, very professionally, and was reminded the second time around that wearing a bra with an underwire is not a good thing in these situations...that beeper thing goes crazy! ;)

We flew southwest airlines, which has a funny seating system, you board according to the time you checked in. So we just made sure to check in early, get early seating. I had the option to pre-board this time because I have a preschooler but I am sure I could have pre-boarded anyway, because of my leg. That way I can pick out my own seat before everyone else gets on board. I have to comment that southwest has a LOT of leg room...I even sat in the middle seat on one flight and was not cramped. I fidgeted some in my seat, got my leg in different positions, but overall was very comfortable. One flight I did pop my leg out of the socket halfway, just to let it breathe..and it went back on fine.

I was also amazed at how funny and good spirited the folks that work for southwest airlines are...even during a busy holiday season they were all in good moods, very helpful and friendly....that is a comment above and beyond the amputee perspective...I just may write a letter to them, telling them they are doing something right! ;)

judy

utah

lbk

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