What Aviation Medicine Is

    What Aviation Medicine Is

    How Aviation and Medicine Can Help You

    00221474 a8065b60f13c2760e63c77bd5bb3412a arc614x376 w285 us1“Aviation Medicine is a medical specialty which combines aspects of preventive, occupational, environmental and clinical medicine with the physiology and psychology of man in flight. It is concerned with the health and safety of those who fly, both crew and passengers, as well as the selection and performance of those who hold aviation licenses.


    Aviation can contribute to the rapid dissemination of communicable diseases – almost any city can be reached within 24 hours.   Passenger numbers are significantly reduced by public health emergencies, reducing income to national economies well as to airline and supporting companies. Aviation Medicine contributes to the mitigation and management of such health risks and other public health events, such as radio nuclear and chemical accidents.


    The Aviation Medicine Section works in close collaboration with UN agencies like the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as international non-governmental organizations such as International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Airport Council International (ACI) It also cooperates and consults with the Chief Medical Officers of civil aviation authorities around the world and the Medical Directors of airline companies.”

    Originally seen published at http://www.icao.int/safety/aviation-medicine/pages/desc.aspx

    When a medical emergency occurs during a flight and there is no doctor and a nurse available to take care of the situation. Who will be the one who takes care of the medical emergency? If there is no doctor and a nurse on board during the medical emergency your best option is to have a medical support during your flight. These are the companies that are accredited globally to give emergency response during a flight emergency.


    Your cabin crew can have an access to an emergency doctor. So they can have instruction on what to do in a medical emergency. The doctor can give assistance to the cabin crew to make the patient stable until the aircraft landed and the ambulance can transfer the patient to the nearest medical facility.


    The emergency doctor that will assist the cabin crew are very familiar with the medicine and equipment present on the aircraft to assist more the cabin crew on what to do during an emergency flight situation.

    Video on Youtube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLPrTa9lNeM

    “In-flight medical incidents during commercial air travel are common yet poorly understood and studied phenomena. The cramped quarters of an aircraft cabin environment and limited available resources make responding to such events fraught with challenging clinical decisions.


    Despite the expansion of commercial air travel over recent decades, there are currently no guidelines for managing ill passengers during commercial flights from the standpoint of volunteer medical professionals. The incidence of these cases is hard to estimate given the paucity of available data. While commercial airlines often collect information on medical events during flight, they do not do so in a standardized format, so it is difficult to compare data across regions.


    Equipment stocked in “emergency medical kits” is not mandated by any international aviation body, although the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA), and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) have agreed upon standardized recommendations. Given the difficulties pertaining to epidemiological data described above, their contents are guided by anecdotal evidence and experts’ opinions.


    This paper discusses the unique characteristics of the flight environment, reviews the literature describing aviation medical incidents, and suggests an approach to managing these patients.”

    You can read the entire article by visiting http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3789915/

    Image provided by PBase

    Aviation medicine refers to the prevention of possible illness of the cabin crew, pilots and frequent air travelers due to the constant flying. Study shows that constant flying has an effect on our body and brain. These are related to jet lags, dehydration and most especially constant exposure to pressurized air.


    Aviation medicines can help you address all the possible health conditions that can occur due to the long flights. They can help you with all the examination and lab test that you will need to prevent the risk of diseases due to the longer flying hours. Aviation medicine will also give you the certificate that you are still fit to fly for a long hour.


    “It’s a call to service that many doctors who fly frequently have heard at least once, and a tough one. It requires providing medical care in a contained space with little equipment or assistance while thousands of feet up in the air.


    A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine gives doctors instructions on how best to respond to in-flight scenarios of cardiac arrest, acute coronary symptoms, and strokes, as well as other, less serious conditions.


    “You don’t have the room to sometimes even put the patient in a supine position to examine them,” says William Brady, a professor of emergency medicine at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville and senior author of the article. “If you did have a stethoscope, the ambient noise in the cabin is usually so loud that you can’t hear anything. You don’t have many medications and the people that are present to help you can range from none to several.”


    One 2013 study, also in the NEJM, estimates that one in every 600 flights involves a medical event, though some experts believe the numbers are higher. And while some doctors voice concerns about liability, experts note that federal law protects providers who respond to most emergencies on domestic flights and most international flights involving U.S. airlines or residents.”

    Article first seen published on WSJ at http://www.wsj.com/articles/when-you-need-a-doctor-on-your-flight-1442256719

    Focus on the health and well-being of the pilots, to make sure that they are in good condition to fly an aircraft. Pilots have a big responsibility not only to fly an aircraft, but to also bring the passengers to their destination safely. Pilots will undergo different kinds of medical exam to check for their overall health condition. They will also have medical exams with different physicians to have a medical certificate to prove that they are fit to fly an aircraft. Having the complete medical certificates we can be confident that our pilots are in healthy condition both mentally and physically to carry passengers to their destination.

    YouTube video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfwVTpEsVVA

    Playlist – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5YWZiEU5kEQ&list=PL4FAE8AFCB1E4CA6D

    Why Medical Evacuation Is Needed in Aviation

    Medical Evacuation (MEDEVAC)

    Sometimes, we find ourselves in unfortunate situations such as accidents, or any sudden medical emergency where our lives may be at risk, during travel for instance. In times like these, medical evacuation may be necessary and an air ambulance might just be the best option for that service.

    “It’s transfer from one hospital to another for emergency medical treatment. Medical evacuation doesn’t happen when you break your leg and just want to come home. Rather, it’s coverage to get you to a better hospital or to your hospital of choice back home when you need ongoing, inpatient care for a serious illness, injury, or other medical condition.

    Sometimes, we travel to amazing places off the beaten path where the medical care isn’t always great, meaning: lack of proper medical specialist for your condition, insufficient equipment, or substandard quality of care. When that happens, medical evacuation moves you from a facility that is inadequate to a hospital that is better suited to give you the most appropriate care.”

    Originally found at http://www.oncallinternational.com/blog/what-is-medical-evacuation/

    A patient is helped off a Canadair CL604 "Challenger" from the Swiss Air Ambaulance Rega during an evacuation simulation from Zurich to Geneva after Rega's annual news conference April 3, 2008. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann
    A patient is helped off a Canadair CL604 “Challenger” from the Swiss Air Ambaulance Rega during an evacuation simulation from Zurich to Geneva after Rega’s annual news conference April 3, 2008. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

    Different types of ground, air and water transportation are employed to carry med-evac teams. Air ambulance companies may offer several options for effective and appropriate medical care before or after hospitalization is provided. Even so, the responding medical personnel, the facilities and equipment to be used, vary according to the particular need or medical condition.

    For emergency situations in areas that are difficult to reach, or have limited access, air ambulance services are used. These may be private and/or chartered jets hired directly by patients or agents. “MEDEVAC”, “aeromedical transportation”, “air evacuation” and “life support flight” are a few term which refer to these types of operations, since they may vary per state.

    “Under an international health insurance plan offering an emergency evacuation benefit the policy coverage for the benefit will ensure that, in the event that there are no medical facilities in your current location able to provide adequate treatment options, that you will be evacuated to the nearest center of medical excellence in order to undergo care.

    Emergency air transportation is a part of emergency evacuation. In order to receive necessary treatment in places with low standards of medical care you will have to be transported to a secondary location. If this transportation occurs via an airplane or helicopter this is called an Emergency Air Evacuation. However, not all emergency evacuations will occur via air transportation; an Emergency Ground Evacuation refers to the instances when you are evacuated via a land vehicle, such as an Ambulance.

    Some policies providing an Emergency Evacuation benefit will also allow for a Repatriation option, however this option may not be contained on all Ecuador Health Insurance plans. A Repatriation Benefit under Emergency Evacuation coverage will give you the option of being transported to your home country to receive ongoing medical treatment, rather than being evacuated to a medical facility which may be closer to the location in which you suffered from the accident or illness in question.

    However, it is important to note that Repatriation coverage under Travel Health Insurance plan will be slightly different from the benefit associated with an annual expatriate medical insurance policy. Generally a Travel insurance Repatriation Benefit will ensure that, in the event of a trip curtailment due to an accident or illness, the traveler will be transported back (repatriated) to their home country.

    Under an Emergency Evacuation Coverage Benefit it is not possible for the policyholder to request an evacuation: the evacuation will typically only occur when it is a recommended course of action by the treating doctor at the medical facility you have been admitted to, and is agreed upon by the insurance company. Any decision to perform an Emergency Medical Evacuation will be considered in light of medical necessity, and the ability of the treating healthcare facility to provide appropriate levels of medical care.”

    Originally found at: http://www.pacificprime.com/questions/what-is-the-definition-of-emergency-evacuation-and-repatriation/

    During these emergencies is when a person may really need air medical services or an evac. These situations can strike any person at any point in time. How the process works and how long the flight takes is the real question when you are having a medical emergency and may need a service like this. Find out more information on air medical transport on this website.

    “The rest of the process would look something like this:

    1. Our in-house medical team consults with your treating doctor and conclude that you’ll need a transport to New Delhi—the closest city with the appropriate level of orthopedic care to treat your broken pelvis.
    2. On Call works with your employer to gather all the documentation and information that is necessary for your transport and receiving hospital admission. Depending on a traveler’s             location, this could include passports, social security card, visas and health/travel insurance information.
    3. On Call will arrange for an in-flight medical team and an appropriate aircraft from our network of accredited air ambulance providers—in the case of your broken pelvis, there would be a nurse and paramedic to continue your treatment, monitor vital signs and perform pain management for the duration of your flight.

    Note: all of our air ambulance transfers are staffed with certified medical flight personnel. Before you depart, they will need to take duty rest, which is a mandated break in between flights. This is not only for your health and safety, but for your transport teams’ as well.

    1. On Call shares the air ambulance itinerary with your authorized contacts (employer, family members etc.) as well as the treating and receiving medical facilities.
    2. You arrive in New Delhi safe and sound, so you can receive the appropriate treatment for your broken pelvis; and last but not least: you’re thankful that you had On Call because a medical evacuation, depending on the location, can cost tens of thousands (or even hundreds of thousand!) of dollars out of pocket!”

    This typical example of how medical evacuation happens was seen on: http://www.oncallinternational.com/blog/travel-assistance-101-how-a-medical-evacuation-works/


    Recent Aviation News for August 2015

    Aviation involves the flying or operating of an aircraft. What is the recent aviation news for August 2015?


    1. Parts of Malaysia Airlines MH370 May Have Been Found In France
    Image Courtesy of CNN

    Malaysia Airlines MH370 vanished last year on March 8, 2014, and it carried 239 people. It veered off course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Up until this time, experts have been unable to locate any parts of the plane or any of its passengers. However, parts of the wreckage may have been confirmed, on August 5, 2015, by French officials. A wing part of the plane, at almost seven-feet long, was found on a French island in the Indian Ocean, and is currently being confirmed as part of Malaysia Airlines MH370 in a French lab. In addition to confirming that the wing belongs to the plane, it will also help shed some light on what happened to the rest of the aircraft. http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/06/world/mh370-investigation/


    1. Greek Air Traffic Controllers Go On Strike

    Some domestic and international Greek flights were cancelled on August 5, 2015, due to Greek air traffic controllers striking. The strike comes during the height of tourist season, which makes it especially troubling for an already cash-strapped Greece. At least 22 flights were cancelled, and at least 173 flights had be rescheduled. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/05/eurozone-greece-flights-idUSL5N10G1V720150805

    Greek air traffic controllers say they want a restructuring of the government agency and they’d like to see an independent agency set up to coincide with European Union rules. This, they hope, will help to solve staff shortages and a lack of money for keeping the ATC systems maintained.


    1. Boeing Does Some UpGrades

    On August 4, 2015, Boeing made some changes to its aircraft technical specifications and has also focused on the trend toward passengers who are wider and heavier, thereby changing seats and cargo space. The seat count for wide-body planes, which are the 787 and 777, increased. Seat counts for the 737 remain the same.  Also, Boeing cut the range for all of its planes by 665 nautical miles.


    1. Kenya Airways Needs A Bailout

    00221474 a8065b60f13c2760e63c77bd5bb3412a arc614x376 w285 us1On August 4, 2015, it was reported that Kenya Airways has recorded a record loss in its year-end report, one that ended in March of 2014. The loss may mean a $500 to $600 million bailout. However, the situation is being studied by consultants, hired by the airline, to discover the best course of action to save the air carrier. http://allafrica.com/stories/201508040548.html


    1. Lufthansa’s Carsten Spohr Opened to Proposals

    Lufthansa has experienced problems with salaries, retirement benefits and expansion. However, it’s chief executive Carsten Spohr, on August 5, 2015, indicated that he is opened to proposals by its pilots. There have been a number of strikes by Lufthansa pilots since April of 2014. This, in turn, has costs the airline over $300 million in lost profit.


    Spohr is hopeful in reaching an agreement but doubts that such an agreement can be achieved by September 2015. These are the major recent aviation news, across the globe, for the start of August 2015.


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