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March 4, 1961

Medical Criteria for Passenger Flying on Scheduled Commercial Flights

Condensation of the Joint Statement of the American Medical Association and the Aerospace Medical Association Published in the February Issue of the Archives of Environmental Health
Author Affiliations

The Committee on Medical Criteria of the Aerospace Medical Association appointed by the President of the Aerospace Medical Association prepared this statement with the advice and assistance of the Committee on Aerospace Medicine of the American Medical Association, particularly its Chairman Jan H. Tillisch, M.D. and its member Ludwig G. Lederer, M.D. Medical Criteria Committee members: Charles C. Gullett, M.D.; James J. Hutson, M.D.; Louis R. Krasno, M.D.; Frederick S. Spiegel, M.D.; Kenneth L. Stratton, M.D.; John E. Smith, M.D.; Harry D. Vickers, M.D.; and Otis B. Schreuder, M.D., Chairman.

JAMA. 1961;175(9):796-797. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.63040090010011

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THE EVER INCREASING number of passengers traveling by air includes a certain proportion who have various clinical disorders. It is frequently found that flying is the most expeditious and desirable form of transportation for the properly prepared and selected patient. However, under certain circumstances, flying may be deleterious to the patient, which requires that certain medical criteria for passenger flying be established. The infrequency of deaths in flight attests to the relative safety of air transportation. This fact is substantiated by the enormous experience of military and civilian carriers in the transportation of patients by air. Before a patient is accepted for passage on a scheduled commercial flight, the following fundamental questions must be considered: Can the patient be moved by any means? Is the patient's clinical condition stabilized? Will the patient's presence interfere with the welfare of the other passengers? An empirical principle was developed many years ago

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