The prevention of any medical incident sufficient to incapacitate an individual while in flight is the primary duty of every physician charged with the care of fliers.
Although this medical incident may occur in any form, such as grand or petit mal, fainting from any cause, decreased judgment, perception and reaction time from any other illness or anoxemia, it is unusual to diagnose the precipitating cause, owing to the finality of the resultant crash.
In prevention, unfortunately, the inability to prognosticate in most cases the individual who will develop such an incident as a coronary infarct is well recognized. This difficulty in the Army Air Corps is mainly overcome by limiting older pilots to flying duties of a less fatiguing nature than actual combat flying and by placing them in multiplaced ships as command pilots with other pilots at the controls. Semiannual physical examinations, with electrocardiograms and teleoroentgenograms once a
White MS. CORONARY THROMBOSIS OCCURRING IN A PILOT WHILE IN FLIGHT IN A SINGLE SEAT AIRCRAFT. JAMA. 1940;115(6):447–448. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.72810320003009a
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