Thursday, June 29, 2006

Pneumothorax and pilot's license

This was left as a comment for this case on pneumothorax, but I reposted it here, as it is interesting:
I am a 19-yr old who had a right spontaneous pneumothorax. BP: 130/70-ish Oxygen Sat: 98% HR: 62

Chest tube inserted first, and then VATS done. First chest xray showed my right lung had collapsed to a size of about 10 to 20% of the original size. Subsequent X-rays after the VATS showed that my lung had re-expanded to 90% of its original size. The surgeons warned of a 10% chance of recurrence or occurrence in the other lung.

My question is, I am passionate about flying, and already secured a place in the undergraduate program in Bachelor of Science (Aviation) in Perth's Edith Cowan University, which includes Commercial Pilot's License. They are waiting for my acceptance. Do I still have the medical conditions and requirements to fly?

2 comments - CLICK HERE to read & add your own!:

Baleeiro said...

I could not find a good reference or answer at the Aerospace Medical Association website.
I did find these entries on the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine Flight surgeon's guide: "Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)

This includes both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. COPD is disqualifying for initial flight training, but may be waived for Flying Class II or III after careful evaluation if the aviator is asymptomatic or has only minimal symptoms, has no evidence of reactivity, and requires no medication. Smoking cessation is essential. Bullous emphysema is disqualifying because of the risk of rupture and pneumothorax at altitude.

Reactive Airway Disease

Asthma or a prior history of asthma is disqualifying for flying training. It is also disqualifying as a new condition in rated aviators because it can be adversely affected by many stressors in the aviation environment such as cold dry air, smoke and fumes, pressure breathing, exertion, and possibly high +Gz. No medications for treatment of asthma are currently authorized for use by USAF aviators."
They do not seem to directly address Pneumothoraces but bullous disease seems to be an exclusion criteria.

Baleeiro said...

The Aerospace Medical Association ( a good website and contact numbers and e-mail and they might be a very good resource for you to find out the rules regarding pneumothoraces and professional flying.