Patient-friendly pressure adjustment (sea level flight)

If a patient has certain illnesses or medical conditions, changes in air pressure should be avoided at all costs. However, quick, safe air ambulance flights are still possible: air ambulances can carry out so-called sea-level flights - main sea level flights (MSL). In these flights the cabin is not pressurised, so the air pressure inside is the same as on the ground. This ensures the patient’s safety at all times.

A gauge

When should you choose a sea-level flight?

On a regular flight, the air pressure inside the cabin will vary, but it is similar to the exterior air pressure at 2,500 metres. At this air pressure, less oxygen is taken up by the blood and gases within the body expand. This causes no problem for healthy passengers, but can lead to worsening medical symptoms for patients with certain conditions. These conditions include:

  • air accumulation between lung and chest wall (pneumothorax)
  • air pockets in the eye or skull
  • intestinal obstruction
  • new surgical wounds
  • anaemia

Our medical team will consider a patient’s medical records, then decide whether a flight at sea level is advisable. This decision is even possible at very short notice, such as when the patient is being transported to the aircraft, or even during the flight.

Sea-level flights with Medical Air Service

Our medical specialists have many years of experience in carrying out sea-level flights. Thanks to the advanced intensive care equipment on our air ambulances, patients can rely on quick, safe and comfortable transport on sea-level flights. For medium and long distances in particular, such flights are preferable to ambulance transfers for almost every patient. As with all air ambulance flights, patients can utilise our ‘bed-to-bed’ service: if you ask us to, we can also organise ground transfers to the airport and the destination hospital.

Do you have any questions?

See our FAQs for more information on sea-level flights.

Contact us

Our team is available 24/7 for a free consultation. We would be delighted to give you a no-obligation quotation for your trip. Please contact us: