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April 1947

CEREBRAL ANOXIA FROM HIGH ALTITUDE ASPHYXIATION: A Clinicopathologic Study of Two Fatal Cases with Unusually Long Survival and a Clinical Report of a Nonfatal Case

Arch NeurPsych. 1947;57(4):397-416. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1947.02300270015001

EXPERIENCES during World War II have made it evident that aviators who collapse as the result of sudden and severe deprivation of oxygen while flying at high altitudes generally die within a few minutes or hours or recover completely. In a series of 181 cases of anoxic anoxia occurring in aviators, Burchell1 and Burchell and Masland2 reported 42 deaths and 139 survivals. Of the fatalities, the majority occurred at altitudes of over 24,000 feet (7,200 meters); in 2 of these cases the period of deprivation of oxygen was less than five minutes and in 20 from five to ten minutes. The men who recovered without subsequent ill effects were unconscious for periods varying in 7 instances from thirty to one hundred and fifty minutes at altitudes of between 27,000 and 28,000 feet (8,200 and 8,400 meters). Ward and Olson3 related the case of an aviator who, owing