Diabetes and flying – New study co-authored by Member of Faculty of Occupational Medicine

Study examined insulin-treated pilots and the effectiveness of the medical protocol

Dr Tom Gaffney, Occupational Health Physician in RCSI Hospital Group and a Member of the Faculty of Occupational Medicine, has co-authored a new study representing  the most extensive data set from people with insulin-treated diabetes working in a “safety-critical” occupation.

Entitled An Evaluation of the Safety of Pilots With Insulin-Treated Diabetes in Europe Flying Commercial and Noncommercial Aircraft, the study has been published in Diabetes Care, the journal of the American Diabetes Association.

This study is important as the risk of hypoglycemia in people with insulin-treated diabetes has debarred them from certain “safety-critical” occupations. It was an observational study of pilots with insulin-treated diabetes who were granted medical certification to fly commercial and noncommercial aircraft. A total of 49 pilots with type 1 or type 2 diabetes were studied. The study found that these pilots had a very small percentage (2.3%) of readings outside the satisfactory green range for blood glucose measurement.

Read the full article (PDF)

Published June 2020

Here you can read the full article "An Evaluation of the Safety of Pilots With Insulin-Treated Diabetes in Europe Flying Commercial and Noncommercial Aircraft"

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