Tag Archive: Occupational Health

Pilot Incapacitation: Extent of the Problem.

The study by Evans et.al. highlighted a linear trend in incapacitation rates from the pilots in 20s to those in their 60s, with those in 60s accounting for 15% of incapacitation [4]. Both cardio- and cerebro-vascular conditions being responsible for 50% (18/36) of incapacitation events, including 2 of the 4 sudden deaths, endorse the present …

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Pilot Incapacitation: What is?

Common medical causes of in-flight incapacitation amongst airline pilots in U.K were cardiovascular (heart attacks, rhythm disturbances) and neurological (epileptic seizures) [10]. Another study in U.S. identified several causes of in-flight incapacitation. This included loss of consciousness; causes related to the gut viz., gallbladder stones, gastroenteritis or discomfort due to expansion of trapped intestinal gases; …

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Pilot Incapacitation: Debate on Assessment, 1% Rule etc.

Reuters reported on 15 February 2012 that the captain of a Czech Airlines plane collapsed and died in flight from Warsaw to Prague. The plane carrying 46 passengers made a safe landing with the co-pilot on controls [1]. In another case, a Qatar Airways captain passed away in October 2010 on a flight from Manila, …

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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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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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