Dr. Brent Blue was recently interviewed by Martin Pauly on the important topic of hypoxia and oxygen use in aviation. This was a fantastic and engaging discussion and would be beneficial for anyone interested in a primer on oxygen, carbon monoxide, and oximeter use in aviation.
A few interesting highlights:
- Oxygen use rules were developed based on geography and not based on health or science. The intent was to permit small aircraft to clear all the mountain passes in the United States without using oxygen.
- Carbon monoxide leaks into the cabin through vents, gear wells, and windows.
- Home CO detectors cannot detect under 35PPM because UL Listing forbids this sensitivity.
- All oxygen is the same and while there are historical differences, there is no current differences between welding, aviator, and medical oxygen.
- Oxygen concentrators are not effective at altitude because of the decrease in oxygen available to concentrate.
- Oximeters will read carbon monoxide tainted blood as oxygenated blood and show higher than normal oximeter readings.
- Oxygen is needed by some pilots as low as 4k MSL, especially at night.
- Oxygen 15 minutes before an approach or landing can help increase your mental acuity and make your landings and approaches better.
You can watch this excellent interview here.