Tag Archive: aerospace medicine

Hire Av Med Specialists – DGCA. Are the Airlines Listening?

Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of India in an Advisory Circular to all Indian operators of scheduled air transport services has recommended that they employ the services of Aviation Medicine Specialist. This has come as a fresh impetus on part of DGCA to prod the Airlines to ensure “effective maintenance and monitoring of health …

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Decompression Sickness in HA Reconnaissance Aircraft

Pilots flying high altitude (HA) reconnaissance sorties are vulnerable to decompression sickness (DCS) due to, exposure to “pressure equivalent up to 29,500 ft (8992 m) of altitude for over 8 h” [1]. Cruise altitude of such HA reconnaissance aircraft viz. U-2 [2] and MiG 25 [3] is 70,000 ft and 74,000 ft, respectively. There are two …

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Say NO! To Self-Medication: Adverse Effects of Some Common Drugs

Adverse effects of some of the common drugs are discussed hereafter. Antibiotics. There are many aprescribed for use in an outpatient consultation. Pilots too may be prescribed antibiotics on occasion, where the treating doctor may inform about specific side effects of the prescribed drug. Yet it is important to be aware of some general side …

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Say NO! To Self-Medication: Beware of Effects of Drugs

In deciding whether to temporarily make a pilot unfit to fly while on medication, it is important to analyse the effects of the drug, and then relate these effects to the mission and the likely aviation stresses, besides the individual’s role in the mission. For instance, loose motions and/or vomiting (Gastroenteritis, the commonest cause of …

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Say NO! To Self-Medication: First a few basics…

Temptation to arrest, say, the beginning of a seasonal viral illness must be very strong in almost every pilot, civil or military. This may be to go ahead with the planned trip or sortie next morning. Invariably this may happen due to compulsions of the job or one’s personal training needs. But such a temptation …

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Aviation Medicine Quiz – Hypoxia

Before we understand the basics about Hypoxia, please answer to the best of your knowledge and understanding the following questions pertaining to Hypoxia in aviation.

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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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