The Influence of Age and Pulmonary Function On Oxygen Saturation At Above 8000 Feet In An Aircraft

· Lung Function

Alima Sari Sihotang, Pandiaman Pandia, Amira Permatasari, Putri Eyanoer
Departemen Pulmonologi dan Ilmu Kedokteran Respirasi, Fakultas Kedokteran Universitas Sumatera Utara,RSUP H. Adam Malik Medan

Background: Changes of air pressure, temperature and humidity on an altitude will result in a decrease of oxygen partial pressure and oxygen saturation, as well as drier air, and this condition will eventually lead to a negative impact on body’s physiological functions due to hypoxemia. This study aimed to determine the effect of age and pulmonary function on oxygen saturation above 8000 feet in an aircraft.
Methods: A quasi experimental was done to measure oxygen saturation on 34 subjects before and during the flight. Data on age, pulmonary function, smoking history, respiratory complaints, chest X-ray and hemoglobin were gathered before flight . At an altitude of 8000 feet remeasurement of oxygen saturation was performed. Descriptive statistic was done to see the distribution of each variable and Chi-square to examine the association of variables.
Results: Most subjects were men (85%) and out of all subjects 88 – 93% experienced a decrease of oxygen saturation by 3-5% at an altitude of 8000 feet Chi-square test showed that the decrease in oxygen saturation were not statistically associated with age (p = 0.441), history of smoking (p = 0.699), pulmonary function status (p = 0.301), respiratory complaints (p = 0.775), chest X-ray (p = 0.094) and hemoglobin values (p = 0.473).
Conclusions: Travelling with airplane results a decrease in oxygen saturation due to the atmospheric state in different level of altitude. (J Respir Indo. 2015; 35: 158-66)
Keywords: oxygen saturation, pulse oxymetry, atmospheric pressure.

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