First-Generation H1 Antihistamines Found in Pilot Fatalities of Civil Aviation Accidents, 1990-2005
GULHANE MILITARY MEDICAL ACADEMY ESKISEHIR (TURKEY) DEPT OF AEROSPACE MEDICINE
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First-generation H1-receptor antagonists are popularly used for alleviating allergy and cold symptoms, but these antihistaminics cause drowsiness and sedation. Such side effects could impair performance and, thus, could be the cause or a factor in accidents. Therefore, the prevalence of these antagonists was evaluated in aviation accident pilot fatalities. During civil aircraft accident investigations, postmortem samples from pilots involved in fatal aviation accidents are submitted to the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute CAMI for toxicological analyses. These analytical findings are stored in a database. This CAMI Toxicology Database was examined for the presence of the first-generation antihistamines in pilot fatalities of civil aircraft accidents that occurred during a 16-year 1990-2005 period. Of 5383 fatal aviation accidents from which CAMI received specimens, there were 338 accidents wherein pilot fatalities cases were found to contain the antihistaminics brompheniramine, chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, doxylamine, pheniramine, phenyltoloxamine, promethazine, and triprolidine. Of the 338 accidents, 304 were general aviation accidents 175 of the 338 pilots held private pilot airman certificates. Antihistamines were detected alone in 103 fatalities 1 antihistamine in 94 fatalities and 2 antihistamines in 9, while other drugs andor ethanol were also present in an additional 235 fatalities. Thirty-five of the 338 fatalities had more than 1 antihistamine. The antihistamines were found in approximately 4 and 11 of the fatalitiesaccidents in 1990 and in 2004, respectively.
- Commercial and General Aviation