Practitioners of Aerospace Medicine Help Reduce Occupational Health and Safety Risks

Aerospace medicine is also known as aviation medicine. This is a broad practice of medicine that can include astronauts, pilots, and flight crews whose bodies may be susceptible to the stressful events and triggers that can occur in the environments in which these people work. Doctors who work in this subfield can provide life support systems for astronauts and also can design programs to certify pilots and other flight crew for administering emergency medical care on flights. Physicians who practice aerospace medicine also are responsible for providing medical clearance for pilots and co-pilots. If these people are at risk for heart attacks or diabetes, they may put the safety of their passengers in jeopardy. These individuals are also evaluated to make sure that they have the vision strength to fly as well. Lastly, these people often need special screening for preventing of disease because the nature of their work makes them more susceptible to illnesses. These illnesses can come about because of stress from work, unsteady eating and sleeping schedules, and the jet lag that they frequently experience. Doctors who practice aerospace medicine can work either in civilian or military capacities.

During flight, the human body is subjected to many different forces that over time can have an impact on health. The physics of flight can cause drops in both air pressure and humidity in the airplane cabins. Air travelers can also experience exposure to radiation, acceleration, and vibration as the aircraft speeds up to its typical traveling speed. In some aircraft, pilots are fitted with special suits to resist the forces of acceleration. They are also provided with breathing devices in the event of an emergency.

Reports have shown that airline employees and other people employed in the aerospace industry have a higher risk of occupational health problems. These health problems occur because of air pressure changes inside passenger cabins, which can lead to sinus infections. The loss of sleep and regular schedules can cause these people to be more prone to accidents as well, which can include falls, strains and sprains. Aerospace doctors treat people who work in these occupations to help them prevent these illnesses and injuries.

The offices dealing with aerospace medicine in OK exist to advance medical education in the aerospace industry, to test airline and Federal Aviation Administration employees for drugs and alcohol, to provide medical clearance for air traffic controllers and pilots, and provide medical certification for pilots. They are able to provide a wide range of services for the domestic and military aviation employees in the state.