Aviation medicine is an occupational medicine focusing around conditions affecting those in the air or space. It also concerns the prevention of potentially harmful physiological responses to being in aviation environments. As such, the patients or subjects it focuses on are usually pilots, aircrews, astronauts or passengers.
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Aviation medicine has a very broad range of practices. In Australia, aviation medical experts (instructed by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority) are responsible for examining and determining the fitness to fly of commercial pilots and cabin crew. Problems affecting passengers can include blocked ears, deep vein thrombosis, increased risk of respiratory infections or parasite infestations or altitude sickness.
Aviation medical experts are employed in militaries and air forces around the world to inspect the health of soldiers. From both a commercial and scientific perspective, they are also employed by both private and government space agencies to determine the effects of space travel on humans.
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The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype