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For the evaluation of patients at risk of hypobaric hypoxia during air travel, the British Thoracic Society Recommendations describe the normobaric hypoxic challenge as a substitute for the use of hypobaric chambers, which are not widely available.1
In the normobaric hypoxic challenge, breathing 15% oxygen at sea level replicates the reduced Po2 in ambient air at 8000 ft (2438 m), the maximum permissible cabin altitude during commercial flight. This method has been shown to produce results comparable with those obtained using hypobaric chambers and oxygen desaturation similar to that found in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) during flight.2 3 The methods described in the British Thoracic Society Recommendations include using a …