Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and fatal accidents in aviation medicine

Tanja Laukkala, Robert Bor, Bruce Budowle, Antti Sajantila, Pooshan Navathe, Markku Sainio, Alpo Vuorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interfere with functioning and/or development. ADHD occurs in about 2.5% of adults. ADHD can be an excluding medical condition among pilots due to the risk of attentional degradation and therefore impact on flight safety. Diagnosis of ADHD is complex, which complicates aeromedical assessment. This study highlights fatal accident cases among pilots with ADHD and discusses protocols to detect its presence to help to assess its importance to flight safety. methods: To identify fatal accidents in aviation (including airplanes, helicopters, balloons, and gliders) in the United States between the years 2000 to 2015, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) database was searched with the terms ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and attention deficit disorder (ADD). results: The NTSB database search for fatal aviation accidents possibly associated with ADHD yielded four accident cases of interest in the United States [4/4894 (0.08%)]. Two of the pilots had ADHD diagnosed by a doctor, one was reported by a family member, and one by a flight instructor. An additional five cases were identified searching for ADD [5/4894 (0.1%)]. Altogether, combined ADHD and ADD cases yielded nine accident cases of interest (0.18%). discussion: It is generally accepted by aviation regulatory authorities that ADHD is a disqualifying neurological condition. Yet FAA and CASA provide specific protocols for tailor-made pilot assessment. Accurate evaluation of ADHD is essential because of its potential negative impact on aviation safety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-875
Number of pages5
JournalAerospace Medicine and Human Performance
Volume88
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

Aerospace Medicine
Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity
Accidents
Aviation Accidents
Safety
Aviation
Aircraft
Databases
Impulsive Behavior

Keywords

  • ADD
  • ADHD
  • Accident
  • Aeromedical assessment
  • Fitness to fly

Cite this

Laukkala, Tanja ; Bor, Robert ; Budowle, Bruce ; Sajantila, Antti ; Navathe, Pooshan ; Sainio, Markku ; Vuorio, Alpo. / Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and fatal accidents in aviation medicine. In: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance. 2017 ; Vol. 88, No. 9. pp. 871-875.
@article{448d858efdae4578a42ccb229e1a83a0,
title = "Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and fatal accidents in aviation medicine",
abstract = "Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interfere with functioning and/or development. ADHD occurs in about 2.5{\%} of adults. ADHD can be an excluding medical condition among pilots due to the risk of attentional degradation and therefore impact on flight safety. Diagnosis of ADHD is complex, which complicates aeromedical assessment. This study highlights fatal accident cases among pilots with ADHD and discusses protocols to detect its presence to help to assess its importance to flight safety. methods: To identify fatal accidents in aviation (including airplanes, helicopters, balloons, and gliders) in the United States between the years 2000 to 2015, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) database was searched with the terms ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and attention deficit disorder (ADD). results: The NTSB database search for fatal aviation accidents possibly associated with ADHD yielded four accident cases of interest in the United States [4/4894 (0.08{\%})]. Two of the pilots had ADHD diagnosed by a doctor, one was reported by a family member, and one by a flight instructor. An additional five cases were identified searching for ADD [5/4894 (0.1{\%})]. Altogether, combined ADHD and ADD cases yielded nine accident cases of interest (0.18{\%}). discussion: It is generally accepted by aviation regulatory authorities that ADHD is a disqualifying neurological condition. Yet FAA and CASA provide specific protocols for tailor-made pilot assessment. Accurate evaluation of ADHD is essential because of its potential negative impact on aviation safety.",
keywords = "ADD, ADHD, Accident, Aeromedical assessment, Fitness to fly",
author = "Tanja Laukkala and Robert Bor and Bruce Budowle and Antti Sajantila and Pooshan Navathe and Markku Sainio and Alpo Vuorio",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.3357/AMHP.4919.2017",
language = "English",
volume = "88",
pages = "871--875",
journal = "Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance",
issn = "2375-6314",
publisher = "Aerospace Medical Association",
number = "9",

}

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and fatal accidents in aviation medicine. / Laukkala, Tanja; Bor, Robert; Budowle, Bruce; Sajantila, Antti; Navathe, Pooshan; Sainio, Markku; Vuorio, Alpo.

In: Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance, Vol. 88, No. 9, 01.09.2017, p. 871-875.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and fatal accidents in aviation medicine

AU - Laukkala, Tanja

AU - Bor, Robert

AU - Budowle, Bruce

AU - Sajantila, Antti

AU - Navathe, Pooshan

AU - Sainio, Markku

AU - Vuorio, Alpo

PY - 2017/9/1

Y1 - 2017/9/1

N2 - Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interfere with functioning and/or development. ADHD occurs in about 2.5% of adults. ADHD can be an excluding medical condition among pilots due to the risk of attentional degradation and therefore impact on flight safety. Diagnosis of ADHD is complex, which complicates aeromedical assessment. This study highlights fatal accident cases among pilots with ADHD and discusses protocols to detect its presence to help to assess its importance to flight safety. methods: To identify fatal accidents in aviation (including airplanes, helicopters, balloons, and gliders) in the United States between the years 2000 to 2015, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) database was searched with the terms ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and attention deficit disorder (ADD). results: The NTSB database search for fatal aviation accidents possibly associated with ADHD yielded four accident cases of interest in the United States [4/4894 (0.08%)]. Two of the pilots had ADHD diagnosed by a doctor, one was reported by a family member, and one by a flight instructor. An additional five cases were identified searching for ADD [5/4894 (0.1%)]. Altogether, combined ADHD and ADD cases yielded nine accident cases of interest (0.18%). discussion: It is generally accepted by aviation regulatory authorities that ADHD is a disqualifying neurological condition. Yet FAA and CASA provide specific protocols for tailor-made pilot assessment. Accurate evaluation of ADHD is essential because of its potential negative impact on aviation safety.

AB - Background: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder with symptoms of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interfere with functioning and/or development. ADHD occurs in about 2.5% of adults. ADHD can be an excluding medical condition among pilots due to the risk of attentional degradation and therefore impact on flight safety. Diagnosis of ADHD is complex, which complicates aeromedical assessment. This study highlights fatal accident cases among pilots with ADHD and discusses protocols to detect its presence to help to assess its importance to flight safety. methods: To identify fatal accidents in aviation (including airplanes, helicopters, balloons, and gliders) in the United States between the years 2000 to 2015, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) database was searched with the terms ADHD, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and attention deficit disorder (ADD). results: The NTSB database search for fatal aviation accidents possibly associated with ADHD yielded four accident cases of interest in the United States [4/4894 (0.08%)]. Two of the pilots had ADHD diagnosed by a doctor, one was reported by a family member, and one by a flight instructor. An additional five cases were identified searching for ADD [5/4894 (0.1%)]. Altogether, combined ADHD and ADD cases yielded nine accident cases of interest (0.18%). discussion: It is generally accepted by aviation regulatory authorities that ADHD is a disqualifying neurological condition. Yet FAA and CASA provide specific protocols for tailor-made pilot assessment. Accurate evaluation of ADHD is essential because of its potential negative impact on aviation safety.

KW - ADD

KW - ADHD

KW - Accident

KW - Aeromedical assessment

KW - Fitness to fly

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85027533180&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.3357/AMHP.4919.2017

DO - 10.3357/AMHP.4919.2017

M3 - Article

VL - 88

SP - 871

EP - 875

JO - Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance

JF - Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance

SN - 2375-6314

IS - 9

ER -