Features  |   January 2014
Lessons From the Cockpit: What Aviation Has Learned That We Must
Author Affiliations
  • James S. Hicks, M.D., M.M.M.
    Committee on Practice Management
Article Information
Central and Peripheral Nervous Systems / Endocrine and Metabolic Systems / Infectious Disease / Practice Management / Respiratory System / Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Trauma / Burn Care / Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Features
Features   |   January 2014
Lessons From the Cockpit: What Aviation Has Learned That We Must
ASA Monitor 01 2014, Vol.78, 18-20.
ASA Monitor 01 2014, Vol.78, 18-20.
“One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Practically anyone who has even so much as soloed an airplane has heard of Saint-Exupery, the early 20th century French writer and aviator. Many of his writings coalesced the wonder of flight with truisms of life, but perhaps none so germane to the field of anesthesiology as the one above. Those of us who have made anesthesiology our careers and aviation our avocations have long appreciated the parallels of the two fields, and even non-aviators have been known to apply aviation terminology to the phases of anesthesia: a detailed and careful “preflight” (preanesthetic visit), a smooth and controlled “takeoff” (induction), a “cruise” portion marked by constant vigilance, and a well-executed “landing” (emergence) characterize both a successful flight and a successful anesthetic.
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