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April 1951


Author Affiliations


AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1951;45(4):458-467. doi:10.1001/archopht.1951.01700010468012

AMAUROSIS FUGAX  IF ONE were to look up the word "blackout" in the Oxford Dictionary, one would not find it there. This word, which so aptly describes "amaurosis fugax," and with which we have become familiar during the two wars, is a newcomer. "Blacking out," which later became "blackout," was a term introduced to describe a form of temporary blindness which became an increasingly frequent occurrence in flying. The sudden change in direction of flight at high speed when the pilot is pulling out of dives or taking sharp turns sets up centrifugal forces of such magnitude as to produce far reaching physiological effects. During World War II these effects were subjects of intensive investigation, which was carried out with the aid of enormous centrifuges provided with cockpits free to move outward when the centrifuge is in motion.1 Since the speed of rotation and the radius are known, the

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