Document Detail

Physiological consequences of rapid or prolonged aircraft decompression: evaluation using a human respiratory model.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  24754211     Owner:  NLM     Status:  In-Process    
BACKGROUND: Aircraft passengers and crew may be subjected to rapid or prolonged decompression to high cabin altitude when an aircraft develops a hole in the fuselage. The accepted measure of neurological damage due to the hypobaric hypoxia produced is the subjective 'time of useful consciousness' (TUC) measure, which is appropriate for pilots and crew who perform their given tasks, however, TUC is measured under conditions different than the decompression scenarios that passengers undergo in today's aircraft.
METHODS: Ernsting proposed that prolonged exposure to alveolar O2 pressures less than 30 mmHg (P30) causes neurological damage. The current study proposes that a critical value of arterial O2 saturation of 70% (S70) can be used in place of P30 and that this physiological measure is more suited for determination of hypobaric hypoxia in passengers.
RESULTS: The study shows the equivalence of model-predicted P30 and S70 values in the Ernsting-decompression scenarios. The model is also used to predict values of these physiological measures in actual aircraft-decompression scenarios.
DISCUSSION: The model can be used by others to quantitatively predict the degree of hypobaric hypoxia for virtually any kind of decompression scenario, including those where supplemental O2 is used. Use of this tool avoids the prohibitive costs of human-subject testing for new aircraft and the potential danger inherent in such tests.
Matthew Wolf
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Aviation, space, and environmental medicine     Volume:  85     ISSN:  0095-6562     ISO Abbreviation:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Publication Date:  2014 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-04-23     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501714     Medline TA:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  466-72     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
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