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Psychophysiological Responses of Pilots in Hypoxia Training at 7000 and 7500 m

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INTRODUCTION: We compared the physiological responses, psychomotor performances, and hypoxia symptoms between 7000 m and 7500 m (23,000 and 24,600 ft) exposure to develop a safer hypoxia training protocol.

METHODS: In altitude chamber, 66 male pilots were exposed to 7000 and 7500 m. Heart rate and arterial oxygen saturation were continuously monitored. Psychomotor performance was assessed using the computational task. The hypoxic symptoms were investigated by a questionnaire.

RESULTS: The mean duration time of hypoxia was 323.0 56.5 s at 7000 m and 218.2 63.3 s at 7500 m. The 6-min hypoxia training was completed by 57.6% of the pilots and 6.1% of the pilots at 7000 m and at 7500 m, respectively. There were no significant differences in pilots heart rates and psychomotor performance between the two exposures. The Spo2 response at 7500 m was slightly severer than that at 7000 m. During the 7000 m exposure, pilots experienced almost the same symptoms and similar frequency order as those during the 7500 m exposure.

CONCLUSIONS: There were concordant symptoms, psychomotor performance, and very similar physiological responses between 7000 m and 7500 m during hypoxia training. The results indicated that 7000-m hypoxia awareness training might be an alternative to 7500-m hypoxia training with lower DCS risk and longer experience time.

Wen D, Tu L, Wang G, Gu Z, Shi W, Liu X. Psychophysiological responses of pilots in hypoxia training at 7000 and 7500 m. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2020; 91(10):785789.
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Keywords: aerospace medicine; altitude; hypoxia training; physiological response

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • 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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