Aerospace Medicine

Lawrence Steinkraus and Jan Stepanek

in Mayo Clinic Preventive Medicine and Public Health Board Review

Published on behalf of © Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199743018
Published online June 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199929603 | DOI:

Series: Mayo Clinic Scientific Press

Aerospace Medicine

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Aerospace medicine focuses on the clinical care, research, and operational support of the health, safety, and performance of crewmembers and passengers of air and space vehicles, together with the support personnel who assist operation of such vehicles. Understanding of the 5 basic gas laws aids understanding of aeromedically significant effects, specifically hypoxia, volume changes at higher altitudes, and decompression illness. Signs and symptoms of decompression illness may include pain in and around joints. More serious is the affliction of heart and lungs or neurologic problems. Physiologic stressors of commercial flight can include decreased partial pressure of oxygen, vibration, noise, humidity, expansion of trapped gases, and thermal stress. Aeromedical transportation of patients with more serious medical conditions requires appropriate equipment, staffing, and coordination of logistical issues. There are 15 specific conditions that disqualify aviators under FAA rules. The primary purpose of aircraft mishap investigations is to prevent future accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Accidents are investigated with multidisciplinary teams, including physicians, following standardized investigation guidelines.

Chapter.  11667 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology ; Public Health

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