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Blood Pressure

Old 27th Sep 2013, 12:59
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Blood Pressure

I have recently obtained a Class 1 Medical from the CAA at Gatwick. The Doctor issued the medical but said my BP was slightly high and that I should keep an eye on it. I went to my GP and got a 24 hr BPM fitted, the results were quite high - I am being referred to a cardiologist.

I am due to start training soon and would like some advice as to the CAA medical requirements. What is the maximum allowable BP to still be able to hold a Class 1 Medical?

If my blood pressure is high but can be brought back within limits by medication, will I still pass the Class 1 Medical?

I just dont want to pay a lot of money for a license that gets revoked in no time. Any advice will be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 13:06
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you can hold a class 1 with blood pressure controlled by medication.
relax or it will put your blood pressure up.
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 13:47
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You do not say how old you are ? I had high readings in my 20s and 30 plus years later have passed scores of Medicals! Don't go down the tablet route if you are young the damage the tablets can do over a prolonged period of time isn't worth it !
Instead look at your lifestyle, makeup. Weight, stress levels etc
I would always question medicating something which is not scientifically understood ?

Last edited by Pace; 27th Sep 2013 at 13:50.
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 17:57
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Thanks for the replies guys!

I'm 30 years old and am not keen on the medication thing either. I'll see the cardiologist and see what they say.

Main thing is that I can hold a Class 1 Medical.

Another question - When applying for airline jobs do the airlines ask candidates to just supply a copy of their Class 1 Medicals to check if they have one or not, or do they actually look into the details of it and then select the healthier candidate??

Thanks
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 18:05
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They are only interested that you have a class 1 medical. Out of interest you say your blood pressure was high but what was the figure?
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 18:23
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I can't actually remember what it was at the medical when the certificate was issued but it was not definitively high (as per general medical guidelines) however it is now around 155/90 - which if it remains in this region is officially hypertension.
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 18:37
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There's so much discussion about blood pressure that it seemed churlish not to enter another little bon mot or so.
It used to be that a resting bp of either parameter being over 140/90 was considered high. This today might do for a sixty year old but 130/80 is now considered by many to be a much more comfortable reading with a commensurate lowering of numbers, raising of boundaries, as age decreases.
Far too much emphasis is placed on the resting part of a bp reading. Outside of sleep zone, a decent 24hr ambulatory bp machine is not concerned with inactive readings. We, as pilots, are not usually inactive just after that No5 goes bang leading to coke tins and Ray Bans flying off the glare shield and that's the time we need to stay fit and mentally focused, which you can't do if old grizzly has your chest in a bear hug.
Kidney problems are no fun either, as an idle cockpit distraction, stones take some beating. Hypertension is one of the little purple breakfast treat's worst friend.
So to answer the question, as it were, get a decent base line cardio check, take the necessary Muti, as approved by the CAA, keep a record of it yourself and fly off into the blue leaving all heartaches, other than the female kind, behind you!

Last edited by cavortingcheetah; 27th Sep 2013 at 18:43.
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 18:47
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BP will come down with weight loss and exercise. There are no exceptions.

I'm not suggesting this at all....but if you want to get your BP inline for an upcoming medical check quickly, all you have to do is fast for 2 days. That will drop it immediately.
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 18:55
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If you take a stack of Viagra, that'll do the trick too. Trouble with that lies in the DRE part of an examination were the doctor to be a male homosexual.
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 20:02
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AdamFrisch is right on one score at least, lifestyle choices by extension.
I'd say that thirty is too young to deliberately face a life of medication, although who knows what med science will have discovered by the time you're as old as am I?
Still and while holding a Class I, Stress ECG required for standard renewal, I took myself in hand some three months ago.Twice weekly private Pilates sessions with a lithesome brunette of toothsome appearance in a leotard and a diet have resulted in a 10kg weight reduction and dyastolic and systolic pressure reductions of the order of 12 and 7 respectively. No options to that sort of thing are available to the common man at so little consequence or pleasure.
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 20:09
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BP will come down with weight loss and exercise. There are no exceptions.
Down a stone, with mid-range BMI. Fittest I've been in ages and just did my longest ever bike ride in one day.

Effect on BP?

None whatsoever.
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Old 27th Sep 2013, 20:17
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Perchance your pressures were previously perfect anyway?
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Old 28th Sep 2013, 18:23
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Nope, fraid not. Anyone who uses the phrase 'there are no exceptions' has not been in practice long enough.
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Old 28th Sep 2013, 20:25
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If worried about high readings at a check, almost hyperventilate you should my friend. Ten or so very deep lungfulls of air before the check, and continued deep breating during it, will drop your numbers by ten or so.
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Old 28th Sep 2013, 20:34
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Then maybe the readings must have been somehow elevated at some point, or done at the wrong time. Your probably a doctor and I might be talking out of my a*se, but it is my understanding that if you stop eating completely and starve, what will kill you before your brain seizes up because of lack of nutrients, is the low blood pressure.

Last edited by AdamFrisch; 28th Sep 2013 at 20:37.
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Old 29th Sep 2013, 00:03
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Sorry Adam not true

Most blood pressure problems are idiopathic which means there is no specific cause, although doctors will always be a bit more interested in younger people with high blood pressure in case there is a cause such as kidney disease or narrowing of certain blood vessels or endocrine issues.

In most others reducing salt and losing weight often drops the blood pressure, but not always - some people with high blood pressure are already living a healthy life. Doctors also tell people to exercise and stop smoking but these don't drop blood pressure they just make you live more healthily

If your blood pressure is still raised you do need drugs. Side effects are limited and the actual drugs can be varied, but it is clear that controlling otherwise high blood pressure prevents early death from heart attacks and strokes and the benefits outweigh the risks. Of course the odd person may get complications, and may well post on this thread, but the medical profession is interested in the overall population and most patients are helped
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Old 29th Sep 2013, 17:32
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Radgirl just described my situation to a tee.
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Old 29th Sep 2013, 23:42
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Take my advice from experience! 4 years ago I was suffering from high blood pressure and although on medication neither myself or my then GP were taking things as seriously as I should as I was feeling great and no apparent other problems!

I went for my Class 2 Medical with my AME and again although my blood pressure was raised it was within limits and again no apparent problems!

2 weeks later whilst at work I suffered a TIA ( minor stroke if there is such a thing! ) and totally lost my speech and some use of my right arm - very frightening! I was hospitalised and given a new drug which was on trial which probably saved my speech. The trade off was that it could have caused another stroke or heart attack but I signed the consent form and took the chance on the Consultants advice! The CAA understandably withdrew my medical!

Gradually over time my speech returned virtually ok but slower and slightly slurred especially when tired, it was a long process of speech therapy etc. My right arm recovered within days.

The CAA medical people were very helpful and suggested I try for a NPPL and Doctors Medical providing my Doctor was prepared to sign the form. My Doctor said she was prepared to sign the form providing my Consultant was also supportive and I undertook a Tred mill test.

Eventually after all these hoops and hurdles and time with an instructor to satisfy myself I could handle the RT I was back flying again in my own aircraft firstly flying solo or with a qualified Pilot and after 12 months of incident free flying my Doctor signed the Class 2 NPPL Medical so that I could take non Pilot passengers

Not taking blood pressure seriously nearly cost me my life and certainly caused me a whole of lot of hassle and I was extremely fortunate to get back flying again

I changed my Doctor and now have a lady who is very supportive to my flying activities and I have to take a cocktail of daily drugs but my BP is now totally controlled with very little in the way of side effects.

A few months ago I was invited to London by The Stroke Association to undertake tests to assist their Research into Strokes that affect speech. Part of this process involved being placed in a scanner which showed the very small area of my brain which had been damaged, it was a very sobering experience.

So in short if you have blood pressure issues do not take them lightly and challenge your Doctor if you feel that more should be done and above all else take medication if it is needed to control your BP as strokes effect all ages right down to babies
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