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Pilot suffers cardiac arrest in flight

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Pilot suffers cardiac arrest in flight

Old 29th Sep 2013, 17:45
  #61 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by J.O.

For all you know, this man had no choice thanks to the theft of his hard-earned pension in the name of "shareholder value". Just remember that some day, you too will be the old fart in the left seat that some young twerp looks at thinking "You're sitting in my chair".
I'm told the gentleman in question had his pension frozen, not stolen. Additionally, he had a full Air Force retirement as well. Thus, I don't think this was an issue of "having no choice" (a bogus argument anyway, there's always a choice).

My bigger point is this: what amount of "recovered pension" is worth ending up on a slab in a morgue in Boise, ID?
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Old 29th Sep 2013, 18:58
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Retire! Why?

Quite a lot has been said about this unfortunate person.

Why was he still flying?
Why didn't he retire?
Didn't he have enough money?
His pension was stolen.
His pension was frozen.
etc. etc.

Perhaps he just enjoyed his work. Lucky fellow!
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 04:11
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps he just enjoyed his work. Lucky fellow!
Absolutely.

Ours not to question why.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 04:19
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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I was taken to hospital about 3 years ago with a suspected heart attack. An angiogram was carried out and they found my heart to be in near perfect condition.

It took me 9 weeks to get my medical back, even though multiple tests proved there was nothing wrong, but something that did come to my attention during this period of non-flying was that there are plenty of pilots out there with medical problems but they're not telling anyone, because the civil servants make your life hell and it's outrageously expensive trying to regain your medical.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 04:20
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Line pilots have been dying in the cockpit almost since when commercial aviation began.

The operative concern is the statistical risk x the risk the other pilot will not remain capable until landing. Food poisoning is the more serious concern as that can take out both crew.

A salad bar item prepared by somebody with improperly washed hands could do the job. EC O157:H7 takes less than 10 organisms to produce an serious infection.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 04:44
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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Capt Claret,

Unless a FAA-licensed pilot has a cardiac event, I know of no requirement for a stress EKG. Heck, they don't screen for BMI, blood work-up, either.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 04:55
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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can I just throw in what may be a red herring.

a cardiac (heart) arrest (stoppage) isnt caused by "failure" of the heart. it is caused by a blood clot obstructing the blood supply and leading to death of the muscle tissue through oxygen starvation.

your blood (yeah you as well, you young smartarses) will clot for a number of reasons. one being stasis. if your blood stops moving in a vein the cascade of chemical reactions that leads to clotting can be initiated. sit still for a long period with a little more pressure in some part of the body (typically for pilots, the myth of sitting on your fat wallet :-) ) can cause stasis in a vein.
being a little dehydrated helps the clotting cascade on as well.

you young guys can be as smug as you like. in reality you have just as much opportunity to become a topic of ridicule on PPRuNe as this guy has.

take care out there, it's the real world.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 07:43
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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Having worked in a medical environment before coming in to aviation (and a little bit during my flight training) and having read this thread with interest I will say that the reply immediately prior to mine, by dubbleyew eight hits the nail on the head. The chap in question appears to have suffered a myocardial infarction [edit: actually I should say probably has suffered an MI]

Blood has a propensity to clot particularly when not flowing correctly. A heart condition itself may cause that - such as atrial fibrillation - and an AF patient knows, or should know, he or she is more at risk of stroke, for example, as the irregular rhythm can "throw up" clots. AF of course would (or at least should) be detected or indicated by ECG and then other verifications.

The other reasons for an obstruction are, as dubbleyew eight has said, attributed to factors which reduce or impede blood flow - long period of inactivity being one, narrowing arteries another. Some people have a natural or inherited tendency to what is sometimes called "sticky" blood and as such are placed on blood thinning medication such as warfarin or heparin (other blood thinning drugs are available).

For the heart to arrest then there is almost always and external reason for it doing so. Hearts rarely just stop on their own, although it is not impossible and there is usually an external cause. Heart failure as a condition is different to a heart attack. A patient can live with heart failure as it is a progressive condition. I have seen drug abusers, trauma (accident) patients amongst other suffer cardiac arrest with an otherwise healthy heart.

Finally, there are factors that can be assessed and tests that can performed to indicate your "risk" of suffering a cardiac event including an myocardial infarction and hereditary factors are important too.

And whilst there is much talk here about BMI and keeping fit - all crucial to maintaining good health - there will continue to be otherwise supremely fit people who ace their medicals but then drop a medical time bomb and stun us all.

Disclaimer from me: I do not offer the above text as any form of official or unofficial advice. You should always speak with your treating clinician and if you suffer any of the conditions I refer to above you should discuss the implications with them.

Last edited by StatorVane; 30th Sep 2013 at 07:51.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 13:37
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FERtd
Quite a lot has been said about this unfortunate person.

Why was he still flying?
Why didn't he retire?
Didn't he have enough money?
His pension was stolen.
His pension was frozen.
etc. etc.

Perhaps he just enjoyed his work. Lucky fellow!
It's great to enjoy one's work. It's also useful to know when to say when and thus be able to enjoy one's life.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 16:01
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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It's great to enjoy one's work. It's also useful to know when to say when and thus be able to enjoy one's life.
How presumptious. Lots of pilots are happier flying than retired. I happily retired at age 58 in excellent health, but I would never presume to tell another pilot how he should live his life.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 18:10
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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Murexway,

Can we at least agree that nobody is happy on a cot in a morgue?
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 18:27
  #72 (permalink)  
tuj
 
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(Mr Swarzenegger had a heart valve operation some years ago, so a body weight of 245 lbs might have been too much for him?)
Mr. Schwarzenegger used anabolic steroids when they were still legal during his body-building days. Also, Schwarzenegger was born with a bicuspid aortic valve, an aortic valve with only two leaflets for which he had surgery in 1997.

The medical establishment has acknowledged major shortcomings of BMI. Because the BMI formula depends only upon weight and height, its assumptions about the distribution between lean mass and adipose tissue are inexact. BMI generally overestimates adiposity on those with more lean body mass (e.g. athletes) and underestimates excess adiposity on those with less lean body mass.
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 18:39
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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Quote:
It's great to enjoy one's work. It's also useful to know when to say when and thus be able to enjoy one's life.
How presumptious. Lots of pilots are happier flying than retired. I happily retired at age 58 in excellent health, but I would never presume to tell another pilot how he should live his life.
Exactly. My case in point, I retired from the airlines (happily) in 2007, and was lucky enough to continue with contracting as a pilot afterwards. My desire, not based on income needs. Floss for the brain, you know.
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Old 1st Oct 2013, 01:12
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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Stator and W8 - Good points. Thank you for the intelligent addition the discussion. Perhaps I am not alone in having mistaken a heart attack with a heart failure.
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Old 8th Oct 2013, 06:17
  #75 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Or-E-Gun, USA
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Booting Fat Pilots?

I hear your concerns, Sir, Loud and clear. That said, events such as this one are exceedingly rare. And, there is always that second pilot available, not just an assistant, but fully qualified to drive the airplane.
Most physical health experts tell us that 'weight alone' is not an indicator of heart disease or a marker for an MI (heart attack). If this gentleman's DME certified him for a First Class medical, one can assume that his exam and labs suggested that he was worthy of his First Class ticket. DMEs and the Medical Branch in OK do n ot screw around with active, but marginal ATP-qualified First Class tickets. I See no reason to ban the 60-65 group without substantial evidence that they are unfit. Let's also remember that the 60-65 extension also requires that the second pilot be under age 60. I think that is enough protection for the flying public. Personally, I'm encouraged and feel safer when I see an 'older' pilot enter the cockpit. Frankly, I'm more concerned about the odd pilot of any age who is mentally unbalanced, as we saw with that fellow from JetBlue a while ago. The DME's examinations are physical, not mental. Short of self-reporting or multiple concerns expressed by flying colleagues, pilot's metal stability is almost never questioned. If any changes are necessary, I 'd suggest that some mental status screening tools be implemented. 'ya know...
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Old 8th Oct 2013, 17:21
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by No Fly Zone
DMEs and the Medical Branch in OK do n ot screw around with active, but marginal ATP-qualified First Class tickets.
You're kidding, right?
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 10:24
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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W8

can I just throw in what may be a red herring.

a cardiac (heart) arrest (stoppage) isnt caused by "failure" of the heart. it is caused by a blood clot obstructing the blood supply and leading to death of the muscle tissue through oxygen starvation.
Not a bad stab at correction but what you have actually described is what is commonly known as a heart attack or Myocardial (heart muscle) Infarction (death) or MI in this case due to O2 starvation. Ultimately, if large enough or sudden enough and not treated this will lead to disruption of the normal sinus rhythm NSR and ventricular fibrillation VF at which point the patient is now actually suffering a cardiac arrest.
Treatment now requires an AED to stop the heart totally and try and allow the sinus rhythm to reset.

Last edited by snakepit; 24th Oct 2013 at 10:32. Reason: Correction, not all MIs will necessarily lead to cardiac arrest BTW
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Old 24th Oct 2013, 10:33
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Correct the defibrillator shock stops the heart, not starts it....like a quick reset on a computer..hence it's name
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