Determination of the "Time of Useful Consciousness" (TUC) in Repeated Exposures to Simulated Altitude of 25,000 Ft (7,620 M)

Aviat Space Environ Med. 1988 Nov;59(11 Pt 1):1103-5.


Time of useful consciousness (TUC) was determined in 17 subjects exposed twice to 25,000 ft (7,620 m) in an altitude chamber. The criterion for TUC determination was inability to add two-digit numbers correctly. Median values of TUC were 267.5 seconds (s) in the first exposure and 240 s in the second. The intraindividual variability between the two exposures was 40.6 s. The probability of remaining in "useful" consciousness as a function of time at 25,000 ft (7,620 m) was similar in both exposures. The need for a more scientific approach towards the determination of time of useful consciousness in simulated high altitudes is raised.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Altitude*
  • Consciousness / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Time Factors