Residual Sleepiness Risk in Aircrew Members with ­Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a major problem in aviation medicine because it is responsible for sleepiness and high cardiovascular risk, which could jeopardize flight safety. Residual sleepiness after the treatment is not a rare phenomenon and its management is not homogenous in aviation medicine. Thus, the authors decided to perform a study to describe this management and propose guidelines with the help of the literature. This is a retrospective study including all aircrew members with a history of OSAS who visited our aeromedical center between 2011 and 2018. Residual sleepiness assessment was particularly studied. Our population was composed of 138 aircrew members (mean age 50.1 ± 9.6 yr, 76.8% civilians, 80.4% pilots); 65.4% of them had a severe OSAS with a mean Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS) at 8.5 ± 4.7 and a mean apnea hypopnea index of 36.2 ± 19.2/h. Of our population, 59.4% performed maintenance of wakefulness tests (MWT) and 10.1% had a residual excessive sleepiness. After the evaluation, 83.1% of our population was fit to fly. An evaluation of treatment efficiency is required in aircrew members with OSAS. Furthermore, it is important to have an objective proof of the absence of sleepiness. In this case, ESS is not sufficient and further evaluation is necessary. Many tests exist, but MWT are generally performed and the definition of a normal result in aeronautics is important. This evaluation should not be reserved to solo pilots only.


  • English

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01873470
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Feb 22 2023 9:41AM