Said, N. (2018). Flight to the Stone Age: Investigating the impact of FAA cockpit regulations on kidney stones in American airline pilots. The Young Researcher, 2 (1), 15-26.
Following the incidents of 9/11, the FAA implemented safety regulations that restricted pilots from exiting the cockpit. While pilots and other individuals from the commercial aviation industry speculated that these regulations prevented pilots from using the lavatory, thereby exacerbating dehydration and kidney stone prevalence, the issue remains relatively unexplored. To address this gap, a survey involving 280 American cargo and passenger airline pilots was conducted. Based on the results, passenger pilots intentionally reduced fluid intake in-flight due to FAA protocol, and the rate of nephrolithiasis amongst passenger pilots was higher than that of cargo pilots, who do not have a cockpit door and therefore were representative of a control group. From these findings, it is recommended that further investigation is conducted on this issue and that current FAA protocol be remedied to protect the safety of pilots and passengers.
Keywords: nephrolithiasis, FAA, aerospace medicine, airline pilots, dehydration