Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Vaso Vagal / Seizures during air travel



I am an otherwise healthy single 46 year old woman except when I fly in a plane. I have had 3 episodes of something doctors and EMT's have called a Vaso Vagal Seizure during flights. The first time, traveling with a friend, I had no idea what was happening to me, I couldn't seem to move, felt very hot and requested that my traveling companion rub ice cubes on my forearms. The second time I was sitting across the aisle from a doctor who saw what happened to me and requested the plane land soon, this person (me) was having a seizure. I had felt extremely hot in the arms, chest and head and then felt like I couldn't move and was told later that I had my eyes open, was twitching slightly and then slumped over, seeming to pass out. The 3rd and most recent time, I had similar circumstances and was able to tell my travel mate that I was not doing well and then proceeded to experience all of the same things, very hot, then passed out, became very cold and clamy. In ALL instances, my blood pressure dropped severely and quickly, I vomited after the plane landed and also had to urgently void everything from my bowels. After the second time, I saw a neurologist who suggested I take Valium when flying. This seemed to help. However, my doctor perscribed Lorazepam for this last flight and it did not work for me. I did have meningitus when I was 18, I have passed out at other times from extreme pain, discomfort and illness, each time when I become alert again, I am nauseus and vomit severely. I don't wan't to have to say that I can never fly again (and the list of people who will fly with me is getting shorter and I don't blame them). Sound familiar to anyone? Can anyone offer any assistance/enlightenment to me?

This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007