Blood glucose awareness training helps return insulin-treated aviators to the cockpit

Alon Grossman, Erez Barenboim, Bella Azaria, Liav Goldstein, Ohad Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Insulin-treated diabetes mellitus has traditionally been considered disqualifying for aviation duties, the major concern being the risk of hypoglycemia. This phenomenon may lead to impaired judgment and even loss of consciousness, potentially leading to a mishap. Blood glucose awareness training has been advanced as a strategy to avoid hypoglycemia by teaching individuals to use the appearance of autonomic and neuroglycopenic symptoms as indicators of decreasing blood glucose levels. We present two military aviators with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes mellitus who were returned to flying duty in a multicrew aircraft. Blood glucose awareness training was used as a tool for the education of these aviators regarding the early signs of hypoglycemia in order to avoid development of more significant hypoglycemia. These cases attest to the importance of blood glucose awareness training in the return of diabetic patients to the cockpit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-588
Number of pages3
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Volume76
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aviators
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypoglycemia

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