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Physiology of Simple Tumbling. Part 1. Animal Studies

Report Number: WADC TR 53-139 Part 1
Author: Edelberg, R.
Author: Weiss, H. S.
Author: Charland, P. V.
Author: Rosenbaum, J. I.
Corporate Author: Aero Medical Laboratory
Laboratory: Aero Medical Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1954-01
Pages: 45
PB Number: PB134853
AD Number: AD0036304

The tumbling that follows emergency escape from an aircraft by seat ejection or that occurs during prolonged free-fall poses a threat to the escaping crewman. Tumbling was simulated in the laboratory on a horizontal spin table using anesthetized dogs as subjects preliminary to human experimentation. The axis of rotation was through the heart or at various locations up to 20 cm caudad. The centrifugal forces proved effective in producing peripheral pooling with a consequent reduction in heart filling and cardiac output, as evidenced by the reduced pulse pressure and arteriovenous pressure difference. The decrease in perfusion pressure and the accompanying apnea was enough to produce hypoxia at speeds greater than 140 rpm, as evidenced by oral cyanosis. Concurrently, the elevated hydrostatic pressures were sufficient to produce hemorrhage in the extremities. A tachycardia or bradycardia may occur, depending on the location of the center of rotation. In general, pathology is less when the center of rotation is at the heart than when located at the more caudad positions, but circulation is less impaired as the center is moved caudad.

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