CFI Instrument Practical Test Standards, FAA-S-8081-9B, June 2001

II. Technical Subject Areas

B. Aeromedical Factors

    2. Hyperventilation
      a. Abnormal increase in volume of air breathed in and out of lungs leading to abnormally low levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the blood
      b. May occur subconsciously when a stressful situation is encountered
      c. Symptoms and signs
        1) Lightheadedness
        2) Feeling of suffocation
        3i) Drowsiness
        4) Tingling of extremities
        5) Incoordination
        6) Disorientation
        7) Painful muscle spasms
        8) Unconsciousness
      d. Treatment
        1) Symptoms subside within a few minutes after rate and depth of breathing are consciously brought back under control
        2) Build up of CO2 back to normal levels can be hastened by controlled breathing in and out of a paper bag held over nose and mouth
      e. Hypoxia and hyperventilation
        1) Early symptoms are similar
        2) Both may occur at the same time
        3) If pilot is using oxygen (O2) system when symtoms occur
          a) Immediately set O2 system to deliver 100% O2, then
          b) Check O2 system to assure proper function, before
          c) Giving attention to rate and depth of breathing
    Instrument Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-15, 1999
    AIM 8-1-3

Greg Gordon MD, CFII