Real-time effects of normobaric, transient near-anoxia on performance

James C. McEachen, Amine N. Issa, Jan W. Marck, Lawrence W. Steinkraus, Bruce David Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Recent physiological incidents involving pilots of high performance fighter aircraft have raised the question of whether inadvertent, short bursts of significantly reduced oxygen could negatively impact real-time performance. This study evaluated normobaric, real-time performance in the setting of transient near-anoxia to inform future countermeasure development.

METHODS: The study was performed on 12 healthy subjects without significant medical history. Following collection of baseline data, real-time performance changes were evaluated during sequentially increasing periods of near-anoxic gas exposure (F(I)0(2) = 1%) using a computer-based performance assessment tool. Both room air and 100% oxygen were used as the prebreathe/recovery gases. Statistical analysis was performed on the results.

RESULTS: Under normobaric conditions, subjects inspiring up to five near-anoxic breaths showed no significant performance decrement in either accuracy or effective actions per minute. Mean accuracy up to five near-anoxic breaths was 0.67 (SD = 0.01) as compared to a baseline mean of 0.68 (SD = 0.02). Hyperoxia had a protective effect on subject physiological response to near anoxia.

DISCUSSION: These normobaric findings offer an assessment of real-time performance changes in the setting of transient, near-anoxic gas exposure. Overall, the results help inform the design of increasingly complex aircraft oxygen delivery systems in terms of how tightly such systems must match the sea-level gas equivalent with increasing altitude. This is particularly relevant as such systems are being called upon to ensure safe aircrew operations across an expanding operational flight envelope.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-81
Number of pages6
JournalAerospace medicine and human performance
Volume86
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Real-time effects of normobaric, transient near-anoxia on performance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this