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Physiologic Stressors of Transport

Updated: Dec 29, 2019

#CFRN Tip of the Day

1. Vibration is the worst stressor – physical effects on crew and patient plus affects ECG and increases ETCO2. Increase padding to decrease vibration.

2. Gravitational forces cause pooling of blood.

3. Noise is the stressor that interferes most with physical assessment.

4. Vision impairment – night vision affected as early as 5000 feet MSL so avoid inside light and use supplemental O2.

5. Temperature drops by 2 degrees Celsius for every 1000 feet increase in altitude, along with decreased humidity.

6. The most common reasons for patient death during flight are cardiac tamponade, tension pneumothorax, and hypovolemia.

7. Fuel vapors can cause altered mental status, nausea, and eye irritation.

8. Flicker vertigo (sunlight through wind milling propeller) may cause seizures so cover patient’s eyes to decrease the risk.


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