Ergonomic Problems in Japan’s Medical Air Transportation Services
Authors: Kazuhiko Shinohara
Abstract: Special considerations must be given in medical air transportation to medical professionals, medical equipment, and flight crews due to the conditions of the critically ill patients transported, the intra-aircraft environment, and the need to make emergency flights. However, few studies have investigated the ergonomic problems faced by the medical air transportation services provided in Japan. Therefore, here we investigated ergonomic problems, including those related to medical device use, faced by medical personnel and the aviation community in Japan. Results indicated that basic education and training on aerospace physiology, intra-aircraft use of medical equipment, flight operation systems, and crew resource management are currently insufficient in standard medical education. In fact, most medical devices used during flights are conventional devices with no ergonomic considerations made for vibration or low cabin pressure. In particular, problems relating to human-machine interfaces, power supplies, electromagnetic compatibility, and the ergonomic and technical compatibilities of electronic medical equipment used during the flights must be improved. Improvements are also needed in relation to safety during emergency flights such as those made at night or in bad weather, crew training, and air traffic control systems during large-scale disasters. Interdisciplinary collaboration is required to further investigate and resolve these problems.
Keywords: Medical air transportation services, Medical education, Medical Equipment
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