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November 26, 2009

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Well Done- Pilot health research wins award

The heart disease risk assessment tool analyses the medical history and age of pilots listed on the Civil Aviation Database. Pilots that are highlighted by the tool are deemed to be at a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, and are given more stringent assessments and lifestyle counselling to decrease their risk of having a heart attack while in flight. The research aid was created by Dr Stephen Houston, a pilot medical officer for British Midland Airways (bmi), and it won the Bupa Foundation 2009 Health at Work Award, at a ceremony at Lincoln’s Inn in London on 19 November. As well as winning the award Dr Houston and his team at bmi have received £15,000 from the Foundation to help fund their continued research in this area. Dr Houston said: “The health of pilots is critical for air safety and as cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among commercial pilots this means early detection will save lives. Age is the most important risk factor for cardiovascular disease and over the last decade more pilots are continuing to fly professionally beyond the age of 60 years. Therefore, now more than ever, detection of pilots at risk of heart disease is of interest to aviation medical policy makers.” “We have already applied a risk prediction model to over 14,000 pilots in the civil aviation authority database, and found a group of pilots who are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Bupa group medical director and deputy chairman of the Bupa Foundation, Dr Andrew Vallance-Owen, said: “There is nothing more critical in the aviation workplace than the health of pilots. We are proud to give this project the Bupa Foundation’s 2009 Health at Work award, which will identify pilots at risk so that they can improve their health and make flying even safer.”

What makes us susceptible to burnout?

In this episode  of the Safety & Health Podcast, ‘Burnout, stress and being human’, Heather Beach is joined by Stacy Thomson to discuss burnout, perfectionism and how to deal with burnout as an individual, as management and as an organisation.

We provide an insight on how to tackle burnout and why mental health is such a taboo subject, particularly in the workplace.


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