Category Archive: Health

Medical Incidents in Air: Cabin Crew reports…

Increase in volume of airline passenger traffic is leading to an increase in number of in-flight medical incidents [1, 2]. A large number of such incidents are, in fact, “identified, managed and documented by cabin crew without the involvement of medically trained persons” [3]. Common in-flight medical conditions are fainting or syncope (incidence 10-53.5%); gastrointestinal …

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Flying into thin Air: Understanding Hypoxia

Undoubtedly cabin pressurisation and oxygen systems have allowed unhindered aviation activities, with a caveat though – never to cross the altitude beyond the capabilities of the system on board. Thus, commercial aircraft fly maintaining a cabin pressure of 6000-8000 ft, and unpressurised small aircraft mostly operate below 10000 ft. Combat aircraft may have a higher …

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Flying into Thin Air: Neurological Effects of Hypoxia

The most important effects of hypoxia is on Central Nervous System (CNS) and vision. This insult to CNS which affects the performance in flight varies as per the altitude and the resulting stages of hypoxia. The effects are discussed as per the stages of hypoxia.

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Flying into Thin Air: Preventing Hypoxia

Technological improvements in reliability and performance of cabin pressurisation and Oxygen delivery systems has greatly reduced the incidents and accidents due to hypoxia. Yet, incidence of hypoxia in flight still occurs due to lack of vigilance, mechanical failure of equipment, improper indoctrination or improper use of oxygen equipment. 

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Hyperventilation – Confusing the Devil with Hypoxia

“An ab-initio military pilot on a familiarisation sortie to the sector with his Instructor, was finding it difficult to see the defined waypoints. This was due to thin clouds below, through which the Instructor could see and point out the features, but the rookie pilot, flying his first sortie in that sector, just could not …

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Aviation Medicine Quiz – Hyperventilation

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

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Training the future Aerospace Physician

If one is asked to visualise the role of Aerospace Physician in emerging decades, especially in the Indian context, the need for redefining training is of foremost consequence to prepare the future practitioners who shall be armed with adequate knowledge, exploit the technology and actively apply the concept of holistic care.

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Stressed Out or Stretched beyond…?

‘Stress’ is the sum of all non-specific changes caused by a situational disturbance in the psycho-physiological milieu of an individual, pilots included! Pilots operate in a three-dimensional dynamic environment, often under the pressure of limited time. The aerospace operational environment is rich in potential stresses: physical, physiological and psychological. While the majority, with time, learn …

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Aerotoxic Syndrome – A cause for concern?

On a flight in 2010, the aircrew – two pilots and five flight attendants, smelt a kind of dirty socks odour while boarding their flight. Not knowing about the source or cause of this foul odour, they undertook the flight. But on landing the entire crew and few passengers needed emergency medical care. Both the …

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From Conviction to Conviction – An Eagle Reborn

This is the story of Captain Norman Lyle Prouse, who showed the moral courage on his conviction for “a common carrier under the influence of drugs or alcohol” to fight for his convictions in his personal battle against alcoholism and a lost job. This story is narrated here not solely as a personal triumph of …

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