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Table of Contents
Vol. 19, No. 5, 2005
Issue release date: April 2005
Section title: Original Paper
Cerebrovasc Dis 2005;19:317–322
(DOI:10.1159/000084500)

Improving Pilot Response to In-Flight Strokes: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Leira E.C.a · Cruz-Flores S.a · Wyrwich K.W.b · Northam G.J.c · Acharya A.B.a · Pan Y.a · Holzemer E.M.a · Womack S.B.a
Departments of aNeurology, School of Medicine, bResearch Methodology and School of Public Health, and cParks College of Engineering and Aviation, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, Mo., USA

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: November 16, 2004
Accepted: January 04, 2005
Published online: April 28, 2005
Issue release date: April 2005

Number of Print Pages: 6
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 1015-9770 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9786 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CED

Abstract

Background: When a passenger suffers an in-flight stroke (IFS), the pilot decides when to expedite access to ground care. Pilot pro-activeness towards IFS could improve outcome and should be promoted. Unfortunately, little is known about a pilot’s stroke pro-activeness or limiting factors. Methods: Randomized controlled trial of an educational intervention (American Stroke Association, 30-slide stroke awareness lecture) through an internet-based computer system using pilot students and instructors as subjects. Pilots completed pre-intervention and post-intervention tests of 25 simulated in-flight scenarios that describe strokes and other neurological and medical symptoms. Outcomes chosen were the percentage of pilots that would use a medical radio service, declare an emergency on board, or divert to the nearest airport for each scenario. Results: Participant pilots (n = 104) were less likely to respond to IFS than to myocardial infarction (p < 0.001). Fear of retaliation by an employer was the most important modifiable limitation. The educational program increased the simulated rate of emergency declarations for in-flight vertebrobasilar strokes (p < 0.001) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Pilot-simulated response to certain IFS improves immediately after this educational intervention, which should be disseminated in schools and airlines. Further studies are needed to determine the long-term benefits of this intervention and the impact on actual diversion rates. Companies should also review their policies to shield pilots from retaliation when altering the flight plan for patients.

© 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Original Paper

Received: November 16, 2004
Accepted: January 04, 2005
Published online: April 28, 2005
Issue release date: April 2005

Number of Print Pages: 6
Number of Figures: 0
Number of Tables: 5

ISSN: 1015-9770 (Print)
eISSN: 1421-9786 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CED


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Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
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