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High Altitude Simulation Test (HAST)


Airplanes typically operate at cruising altitudes of 30,000 to 40,000 feet. As altitude increases, air pressure decreases, leading to a decrease in the oxygen tension of inspired air. The Federal Aviation Administration requires that airline cabins be pressurized to simulate an altitude (so-called cabin altitude) below 8000 feet. At this pressure, the inspired oxygen is around 15.1% (compared to 21% at sea level). People with normal cardiopulmonary system do not usually feel any difference. However, patients with chronic lung or cardiac disease may develops hypoxemia (drop in oxygenation) leading to shortness of breath, fatigue, and possible end organ damage.

At TruDoc Medical, we simulate the oxygen level on the flight at our own Pulmonary Function Laboratory. We test your lungs during this simulation, at rest and with walking. We follow strict algorithms to assure proper monitoring of your cardiovascular system. If needed, we provide you with oxygen during the test and we titrate your needs. We also order your oxygen through the commercial airline company so you can enjoy your trip and have the peace of mind during your travel without any concerns or unwanted surprises.

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