By Andrea Romano
February 05, 2019
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Cabin pressure is one of the most important and yet least noticed elements of the cabin when it comes to your comfort when you fly. But when something malfunctions with the process, it can lead to some real health concerns.

According to USA Today, a Southwest Airlines flight from Connecticut to Florida experienced a problem with pressurization within the cabin so severe that it caused at least one passenger’s ears to bleed.

Flight 1694 took off from Bradley International Airport in Hartford on Friday night, and only about an hour after take off problems began to occur. According to News 12 Connecticut, the flight returned to Bradley just after 9 p.m.

Southwest Airlines spokeswoman Ro Hawthorne told USA Today, “Several customers among the 139 onboard were treated for injuries and discomfort by local paramedics,” after returning to Hartford.

According to ABC 4, at least one passenger was bleeding from the ears.

Small changes in cabin pressure can have all different kinds of effects on people. On a Jet Airways flight in 2018, 30 people had to be treated for nose bleeds and ear pain due to pilots mistakenly forgetting to flip the switch that normalizes cabin pressure in the air.

Similarly, 33 Ryanair passengers were hospitalized back in July due to a loss of pressure during flight, resulting in pain in the ears and eyes. But most importantly, the loss of pressure can affect oxygen on board.

Hawthorne told USA Today that the plane has been removed and passengers have been rebooked on new flights, adding, “The safety of our customers and crew is always our top priority.”