Last week the FAA banned pilots and air traffic controllers from taking the anti-smoking medicine Chantix soon after the agency learned the prescription drug might jeopardize safety.
Writing in the spring 2000 issue of the FAA’s Federal Air Surgeon’s Medical Bulletin, Rogers Shaw, team coordinator of the FAA’s Civil Aerospace Medical Institute’s aeromedical education division’s airman education program, offered these tips for heading off the dangers of dehydration:
• Drink cool (40 deg F) water (forget the old theory that lukewarm water is absorbed more quickly into the system).
The next time you fly, soak a terrycloth hand towel so that it’s dripping wet and hang it up on the flight deck. Then fly a leg that’s at least an hour-and-a-half long. At the end of that time, the towel will be bone dry, the water absorbed by the ultra-low humidity of the cockpit and cabin environment.
New operators of Learjets now receive, at no cost, an initial subscription to MedLink aviation medical-support services from Phoenix-based MedAire. The services are already standard onboard Bombardier Global Express and Challenger business jets. With MedLink, crewmembers can consult directly with board-certified emergency physicians for advice on managing medical incidents that occur during flight.
The Corporate Angel Network recognized Corning for having flown a record number of flights carrying cancer patients to treatment centers aboard its Fairchild Dornier 328JET corporate shuttles. Corning, of Horseheads, N.Y., has flown more than 1,500 CAN missions since joining the organization in 1983. “Corning’s people go the extra mile for our patients,” said CAN executive director Thomas Robertazzi.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) claims nearly a million lives a year in the U.S. (958,775 in 1999, the last year for which definitive figures are available). That works out to be one out of every 2.5 deaths, which equates to more than 2,600 CVD deaths a day or one every 33 sec.
“Targeted guidelines” and “tough enforcement” are two key elements of a comprehensive voluntary plan from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) “to dramatically reduce ergonomic injuries,” according to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao. “This plan is a major improvement over the rejected old rule because it will prevent ergonomics injuries before they occur and reach a much larger number of at-risk workers.”
The shareholders of Rocky Mountain Holdings of Provo, Utah, signed a non-binding letter of intent last month with an unnamed buyer, said to be another aeromedical operator, for the purchase of RMH. The terms of the letter require both sides to remain silent until a definitive agreement is reached (estimated to take about 30 days) or the discussions are terminated.
You may have seen the ad featuring a picture of a stereotypical pilot in cool sunglasses and touting: “Fighter Pilot Requirements: Lightning Reflexes, Nerves of Steel, 20/20 Vision. Lasik. We’ve got the vision part covered.” For professional pilots whose vision is correctable to 20/20 with contacts or glasses, ads like this may tempt them to want to toss their glasses or contacts out the window.
A growing number of aviation medical professionals are questioning pilots’ reliance on their required annual (or, in the case of first-class medicals, six-monthly) medical examinations as their primary source of personal health monitoring.