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Free Content Continuous Glucose Monitoring for In-Flight Measurement of Glucose Levels of Insulin-Treated Pilots

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INTRODUCTION: Due to the risk of hypoglycemia-related incapacitation, diabetic pilots requiring insulin are assessed as unfit according to the International Civil Aviation Organization and most national authorities. Some authorities, such as those from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, permit selected insulin-treated pilots (ITDM-pilots) to fly subject to a protocol requiring pre- and in-flight capillary glucose measurements to show safe levels (>100–<300 mg ยท dl−1). Critics of such permission question the practicability of these in-flight measurements and whether clinically desired glycemic targets can be achieved while keeping glucose levels in the safe range. Subcutaneous continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) has recently been approved by the FDA as a stand-alone method to provide accurate glucose levels and treatment decision guidance in patients. This commentary considers that use of CGM by ITDM pilots facilitates practicability and recording of in-flight glucose measurements and facilitates achievement of clinically desired glycemic targets without increasing hypoglycemia risks.

Strollo F, Simons R, Mambro A, Strollo G, Gentile S. Continuous glucose monitoring for in-flight measurement of glucose levels of insulin-treated pilots. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2019; 90(8):735–737.
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Keywords: continuous glucose monitoring; diabetes mellitus; flight; insulin

Document Type: Commentary

Publication date: August 1, 2019

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  • This journal (formerly Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine), representing the members of the Aerospace Medical Association, is published monthly for those interested in aerospace medicine and human performance. It is devoted to serving and supporting all who explore, travel, work, or live in hazardous environments ranging from beneath the sea to the outermost reaches of space. The original scientific articles in this journal provide the latest available information on investigations into such areas as changes in ambient pressure, motion sickness, increased or decreased gravitational forces, thermal stresses, vision, fatigue, circadian rhythms, psychological stress, artificial environments, predictors of success, health maintenance, human factors engineering, clinical care, and others. This journal also publishes notes on scientific news and technical items of interest to the general reader, and provides teaching material and reviews for health care professionals.

    To access volumes 74 through 85, please click here.
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