Peer Reviewed| Volume 23, ISSUE 2, P36-39, March 2004

Download started.


Bedside blood gas analysis in airborne rescue operations


      The alveolar partial oxygen pressure (Pao2) recorded from 20 ventilated patients was found to decrease by 16 mm Hg during airborne rescue helicopter transport at an average altitude of 1780 feet mean sea level. The initial departure altitude was 192 feet, and the flight ascended to 2200 feet above ground level. Hence, the Pao2 drop in patients was exclusively attributable to cruising altitude (atmospheric pressure = -42 mm Hg). Pathophysiological alterations include drops in the oxygenation index (-50 mm Hg), arterial partial oxygen pressure (-34 mm Hg), and heart rate (+7 beats per minute) and are attributable to growing disproportions in ventilation and perfusion. The absolute Pao2 level does depend largely on the Fio2 value.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'


      Subscribe to Air Medical Journal
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect



        • Müller BH
        Flugmedizin für die ärztliche Praxis. Kirschbaum Verlag, Bonn1973
        • Ruff S
        • Strughold H
        Grundriß der Luftfahrtmedizin. 2nd. Johann Ambrosius Barth Verlag, Leipzig1944
        • Schulze E
        • et al.
        Flugmedizin. 1st. Transpress, Berlin1990
        • Frank PW
        ZaeFQ. 1999; 93: 476-479
        • Lauritzen JB
        • Lendorf A
        • Vesterhauge S
        • Johansen TS
        Heart rate responses to moderate linear body accelerations: clinical implications in aeromedical evacuation.
        Aviat Space Environ Med. 1986; 58: 248-251
        • Malagon I
        • Grounds RM
        • Bennett ED
        Change in cardiac output during air ambulance repatriation.
        Intensive Care Med. 1996; 22: 1396-1399
        • Zietz G
        • Geske R
        Beatmung-Grundlagen und Praxis. Gesundheit Verlag, Berlin1991
        • Domej W
        • Schwaberger G
        Die respiratorische Funktion Gesunder sowie chronisch Lungenkranker unter Einfluss der Höhe.
        Intensive Care Med. 2002; 39: 299-304
        • Chiang ST
        Anomogram for venous shunt (QS-QT) calculation.
        Thorax. 1968; 23: 563-565
        • Theissen JL
        • Meßner A
        Hypoxische pulmonale vasokonstriktion.
        Anaesthesist. 1996; 45: 643-652