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Obesity Among Pilots

In: Other Topics

Submitted By cdsouza2008
Words 3121
Pages 13
Introduction
In September 27, 2013, on a routine United Airlines flight between Houston and Seattle, the captain of the flight suffered a heart attack mid-flight. The plane was carrying 161 passengers and six crewmembers. The co-pilot took control of the aircraft and landed the aircraft successfully in Boise, Idaho. The captain was rushed to the hospital, where he was declared dead the next day. He was 63 years of age. Incidents such has this are not uncommon, they occur quiet often across the aviation industry domestically and internationally. For instance, a Indian captain aged 43, operating for Qatar Airways suffered a similar heart attack mid-flight, three years prior to the United Airlines captain. The captain of Qatar Airways complained of chest pain mid-flight and a decision was made to land immediately. The captain died during decent, and medical reports suggested that he had died of a cardiac arrest (Editors, 2010). In the above incidents both the captains had a valid medical certificate and were declared fit to fly by their respective companies. According to the national heart, lung and blood institute, a heart attack occurs when the flow of oxygen-rich blood suddenly becomes restricted when flowing into a section of the heart muscle (Editors, 2013). This restriction is caused due to the build of plaque in the arteries of the heart. Patients with coronary heart diseases (CHD) are generally prone to heart attacks and one can only assume if either pilots were CHD candidates.
The FAA requires all pilots undergo a medical examination by an authorized AME prior to legally operating an aircraft. From personal experience, the examination consists of a urine test, vision test, reflex test, and a general physical test. Pilots are required to notify the AME of all prior medical history before undergoing the examination but there is no possible manner to verify…...

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