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Simulated parachute descent in the cold: thermal responses and manual performance.
Aviat Space Environ Med. 2002 Nov; 73(11):1100-5.AS

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Ejection from a fighter aircraft can expose the pilot to extreme cold and windy conditions. Knowledge of the effects of such conditions on thermal responses and performance of the pilot is scarce.

HYPOTHESIS

It is expected that the temperature of bare skin and fingers may decrease to the level where health and/or performance are hampered.

METHODS

Seven fighter pilots performed a simulated parachute descent (SPD) at ambient temperature (Ta) of -35 degrees C and wind velocity of 10 m x s(-1). The 8-min SPD was followed by a 60-min cold exposure (CE) at Ta of -20 degrees C. Flight garments with or without immersion suit were used. During SPD the subjects performed basic survival tasks. Rectal and skin temperatures were measured and manual performance was tested.

RESULTS

Thermal responses did not significantly differ between the clothing ensembles. Mean skin temperature was 28 degrees C and 27 degrees C at the end of SPD and CE, respectively. The cheek temperature was 9 degrees C (range 3.2-13.8 degrees C) at the end of SPD. Finger skin temperature was 7 degrees C and 9 degrees C at the end of SPD and CE, respectively. The subjects could perform the defined tasks during SPD while manual performance was slightly impaired during CE.

CONCLUSIONS

Subjects could tolerate the 8-min SPD and the following CE in the studied conditions without a loss of vital performance in basic survival actions. However, the risk of frostbite on the uncovered skin area as well as numbness of the fingers may jeopardize pilots' health and performance during parachuting.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Oulu Regional Institute of Occupational Health, Laboratory of Physiology, Finland. sirkka.rissanen@ttl.fiNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

12433234

Citation

Rissanen, S, et al. "Simulated Parachute Descent in the Cold: Thermal Responses and Manual Performance." Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, vol. 73, no. 11, 2002, pp. 1100-5.
Rissanen S, Mäkinen T, Rintamäki H, et al. Simulated parachute descent in the cold: thermal responses and manual performance. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2002;73(11):1100-5.
Rissanen, S., Mäkinen, T., Rintamäki, H., Aatsalo, O., & Kuronen, P. (2002). Simulated parachute descent in the cold: thermal responses and manual performance. Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine, 73(11), 1100-5.
Rissanen S, et al. Simulated Parachute Descent in the Cold: Thermal Responses and Manual Performance. Aviat Space Environ Med. 2002;73(11):1100-5. PubMed PMID: 12433234.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Simulated parachute descent in the cold: thermal responses and manual performance. AU - Rissanen,S, AU - Mäkinen,T, AU - Rintamäki,H, AU - Aatsalo,O, AU - Kuronen,P, PY - 2002/11/16/pubmed PY - 2003/2/22/medline PY - 2002/11/16/entrez SP - 1100 EP - 5 JF - Aviation, space, and environmental medicine JO - Aviat Space Environ Med VL - 73 IS - 11 N2 - BACKGROUND: Ejection from a fighter aircraft can expose the pilot to extreme cold and windy conditions. Knowledge of the effects of such conditions on thermal responses and performance of the pilot is scarce. HYPOTHESIS: It is expected that the temperature of bare skin and fingers may decrease to the level where health and/or performance are hampered. METHODS: Seven fighter pilots performed a simulated parachute descent (SPD) at ambient temperature (Ta) of -35 degrees C and wind velocity of 10 m x s(-1). The 8-min SPD was followed by a 60-min cold exposure (CE) at Ta of -20 degrees C. Flight garments with or without immersion suit were used. During SPD the subjects performed basic survival tasks. Rectal and skin temperatures were measured and manual performance was tested. RESULTS: Thermal responses did not significantly differ between the clothing ensembles. Mean skin temperature was 28 degrees C and 27 degrees C at the end of SPD and CE, respectively. The cheek temperature was 9 degrees C (range 3.2-13.8 degrees C) at the end of SPD. Finger skin temperature was 7 degrees C and 9 degrees C at the end of SPD and CE, respectively. The subjects could perform the defined tasks during SPD while manual performance was slightly impaired during CE. CONCLUSIONS: Subjects could tolerate the 8-min SPD and the following CE in the studied conditions without a loss of vital performance in basic survival actions. However, the risk of frostbite on the uncovered skin area as well as numbness of the fingers may jeopardize pilots' health and performance during parachuting. SN - 0095-6562 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/12433234/Simulated_parachute_descent_in_the_cold:_thermal_responses_and_manual_performance_ DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -