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Alcohol-Induced Physiological Displacements and Their Effects on Flight-Related Functions
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION OKLAHOMA CITY OK CIVIL AEROMEDICAL INST
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Tolerances of human subjects for orthostasis and physical work were determined at a simulated altitude of 3,048 m. Orthostasis was induced with a lower body negative pressure LBNP device and physical work was done on a pedal ergometer. Altitude was simulated in a hypobaric chamber. Tests were carried out under two experimental conditions 1 after subjects drank an alcoholic beverage, or ii after subjects drank a placebo beverage no alcohol. The alcoholic beverage produced blood alcohol concentrations BACs of about 90 mg 100 ml of blood 90 mg percent. At altitude, arterial oxyhemoglobin saturation HbO2 remained adequately compensated but was lower after alcohol than after placebo intake. Arithmetic and eyehand coordination performances were both significantly decreased after school. Ergometry, after alcohol, was well tolerated despite some decreased cardiorespiratory efficiency. The LBNP applied around peak BAC at altitude was tolerated without subjectively adverse symptoms despite significant decreases in several cardiovascular parameters. Cardiovascular adequacy along with maintained plasma volume around peak BAC appeared to be temporarily protective against orthostatic incapacitation during LBNP. Reversal of this temporary orthostatic protection during BAC recession is possible.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE