Effect of upright and supine posture on hypoxemia during air transport

Sara W. Knutson, Thomas A Dillard, William J. Mehm, Yancy Y. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Change in body position can cause hypoxemia at sea level ill patients with lung diseases. Because of concern for the added risk of hypoxemia during air transport, we investigated the effect of body position on arterial oxygen partial pressure (PaO 2 ) in individuals with lung disease under conditions of hypobaric hypoxia. Method: The study groups consisted of 8 patients with chronic obstructive lung disease, 4 patients with interstitial lung disease, and 6 healthy subjects. We obtained samples from radial artery catheters at sea level (SL) and attitude (ALT) simulation of 8000 ft (2438 m) in a hypobaric chamber in supine and upright postures. Results: Altitude exposure did not result in a significant change in mean supine minus mean upright PaO 2 (dPaO 2 ); however, some individuals had large changes at SL. Moreover, the variance for dPaO 2 was significantly smaller at ALT compared to SL with all groups combined (F test, p < 0.05). We found no correlation between dPaO 2 at SL vs. ALT (p = 0.293; r = 0.262; n = 18). At both SL and ALT, dPaCO 2 correlated negatively with dpH. At SL, dPaO 2 did not correlate with either dPaCO 2 or dpH; at ALT dPaO 2 correlated with dpH (p < 0.05) and correlated negatively with dPaCO 2 (p < 0.01). Conclusion: We conclude that significantly less postural variation in PaO 2 occurs at moderate ALT compared to SL. In our patients with diffuse bilateral pulmonary disease, postural change did not contribute significantly to hypoxemia experienced at ALT. We infer that greater ventilatory response to hypoxemia at ALT in either posture may explain this finding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-18
Number of pages5
JournalAviation Space and Environmental Medicine
Volume67
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 29 1996
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Posture
Oceans and Seas
Air
Lung Diseases
Radial Artery
Hypoxia
Partial Pressure
Interstitial Lung Diseases
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
Healthy Volunteers
Catheters
Oxygen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Knutson, S. W., Dillard, T. A., Mehm, W. J., & Phillips, Y. Y. (1996). Effect of upright and supine posture on hypoxemia during air transport. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, 67(1), 14-18.

Effect of upright and supine posture on hypoxemia during air transport. / Knutson, Sara W.; Dillard, Thomas A; Mehm, William J.; Phillips, Yancy Y.

In: Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, Vol. 67, No. 1, 29.01.1996, p. 14-18.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Knutson, SW, Dillard, TA, Mehm, WJ & Phillips, YY 1996, 'Effect of upright and supine posture on hypoxemia during air transport', Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, vol. 67, no. 1, pp. 14-18.
Knutson SW, Dillard TA, Mehm WJ, Phillips YY. Effect of upright and supine posture on hypoxemia during air transport. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine. 1996 Jan 29;67(1):14-18.
Knutson, Sara W. ; Dillard, Thomas A ; Mehm, William J. ; Phillips, Yancy Y. / Effect of upright and supine posture on hypoxemia during air transport. In: Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine. 1996 ; Vol. 67, No. 1. pp. 14-18.
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