Aviation Medicine Quiz – Hyperventilation

Please answer to the best of your knowledge and understanding the following questions pertaining to Hyperventilation in aviation.

1. A pilot, breathing rapidly during a sortie, complains of feeling light-headed with tingling at the tips of the fingers and the toes. He may be suffering from:-

  • (a) Hypoxic hypoxia or Hyperventilation
  • (b) Hypoxia
  • (c) Hyperventilation
  • (d) Alkalosis

2. Hyperventilation occurs due to:-

  • (a) Lack of oxygen in the body
  • (b) Increase in carbon dioxide in the body
  • (c) Excessive wash out of carbon dioxide from the body
  • (d) Excessive intake of oxygen during flight

3. The normal blood PaCO2 ranges between:-

  • (a) 36 to 44 mm Hg
  • (b) 28 to 36 mm Hg
  • (c) 44 to 52 mm Hg
  • (d) 28 to 52 mm Hg

4. Lowering of blood PaCO2  leading to hyperventilation results in the following changes in the body, except one:-

  • (a) Increase in the pH (alkalosis within the body)
  • (b) Dilatation of the blood vessels
  • (c) Heightened state of alertness
  • (d) Fall in blood pressure

5. Which of the following is not a cause of hyperventilation amongst combat pilots:-

  • (a) Hypoxia
  • (b) Vibrations and air turbulence
  • (c) Positive Pressure Breathing
  • (d) Flying as a passenger

6. If the symptoms of numbness, tingling, muscle in-coordination, giddiness or fainting spell persists in flight despite of starting 100% oxygen, this is due to:-

  • (a) Hypoxia
  • (b) Hyperventilation
  • (c) Hypoxia or Hyperventilation
  • (d) Positive pressure breathing

7. Hyperventilation may occur during positive pressure breathing due to:-

  • (a) Reversal in mechanics of respiration
  • (b) Anxiety
  • (c) Unaccustomed method of breathing
  • (d) Stress

8. Which of the following situations is not likely to give rise to hyperventilation:-

  • (a) Rookie pilots
  • (b) Aerial combat
  • (c) Hypoxia indoctrination in decompression chamber
  • (d) General handling sortie

9. If a pilot has symptoms of hyperventilation while flying at 5000 feet above MSL, what remedial action is required by him?

  • (a) Descend to MSL
  • (b) Start breathing heavily
  • (c) Take slow and not so deep breath
  • (d) Remove oxygen mask

10. In case of suspected hyperventilation, which is the correct in-flight approach:-

  • (a) Switch over to 100% oxygen
  • (b) Reduce the rate and depth of breathing
  • (c) Descend below 10,000 feet
  • (d) All of the above

Answers to the quiz:

1. (a)     2. (c)     3. (d)     4. (c)     5. (a)     6. (c)     7. (d)     8. (a)     9. (c)     10. (d).

If you answered 9-10 questions correctly, Congratulations! you have a good understanding of hyperventilation; if you answered 6-8 answers correctly, Great start! you have a fair idea, yet it may be advisable to brush up; if 5 or less answers are correct, you need to learn more about hyperventilation.

In case you wish to share your experiences of hyperventilation or offer comments/feedback on this Blog, you may please use the form below or else send an e-mail to avmed@avmed.in