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So I have an amazing opportunity to expand my career abroad. In many ways it's a make-it-or-break-it kind of opportunity that only comes along once. The only thing holding me back is that the flight is roughly 12 hours. My SVT used to be very severe, and could only be reverted with adenosine. Now I'm on Verapamil, and I haven't had a severe episode since I started my current dose, which is a good thing. I only had one breakthrough episode that reverted quickly, and then my dose was increased, and it hasn't happened again. So haven't had an episode for 2 years. But I have ectopics often. And I worry that the stress of flying might bring the SVT on.
What happens if a flyer gets SVT onboard? I know there's medical equipment on most planes, but not adenosine, or an ECG, or anything specific to arrhythmia. Also, SVT is such an invisible condition, and I look very healthy. I'm in my early twenties. I worry that if SVT were to happen, no one would take me seriously... I would definitely alert the flight attendant, but I'm afraid they would just shrug it off and think I was just an anxious flyer, and not realise that I'd genuinely need help, at least at some point. I was in SVT for up to 4 hours at one time, and I know the heart can take it. But cardiologists have told me that being in SVT longer than 10 hours or so can cause irreversible damage to the heart, possibly causing the early stages heart failure (I don't have any studies to reference, but two cardiologists have told me this). Not to mention that it would be an overall daunting experience.
I usually don't let SVT stop me from doing things, but flying just seems like a challenge.
I know airplanes make emergency landings for people suffering stroke or heart attack etc., but I just somehow doubt they'd do it for someone with SVT, especially because it's a lesser-known condition. Most people have no idea what it means when you say "SVT", and a lot of the time they think it's something to do with anxiety. I would not want to cause an airplane to make an emergency landing, not at all. I just hope they have some sort of protocol for when a flyer presents with arrhythmia that isn't lethal but should be reverted within a few hours.
**Has anyone here had SVT whilst flying or travelling, maybe on a long train or bus ride? What was your experience? **The good thing is that the health care at my destination is top notch, so I'd feel very safe and cared for there, even better than where I'm living now. So my only worry is the 12 hours in the air.
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