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DAME newsletter - August 2018
Date of publication:
9 August 2018
From Principal Medical Officer, Michael Drane
You might have noticed it’s been a few months since our last DAME newsletter. That’s because we’ve been busy working on a series of aviation medicine initiatives.
I know it can feel hard to keep up with the changes sometimes, so please see below for a quick summary of the latest news.
- DAME assessed medicals. There have been 475 of these completed since March, and most have been fine. However, please remember to follow the CASA eLearning guidance (available via AviationWorx) and Clinical Practice Guidelines to ensure you include sufficient information when making your assessment and record it clearly. It’s important that you clearly note the basis for your decision and whether further monitoring is required. Remember there’s a reason certain reports are requested and your decision needs to stand up to scrutiny in settings such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT). Decisions failing in these areas may present medicolegal liabilities for the assessing doctor.
- Commercial driving licence assessment and the ‘Basic Class 2’ medical. Over July, 27 people applied for this medical certification. AvMed is monitoring uptake to determine how popular this option is and the quality of the decision-making process so far.
- Cardiovascular risk assessment. A range of assumptions are made in the current risk assessment, which is Framingham-based. We are currently reviewing this process in light of new and far more applicable data. You can read more in the referenced Lancet paper.
- Periodic screening for pilots and controllers. GPs will be familiar with the ‘Red Book.’ Where possible, we are looking to align screening requirements with this guideline for preventative activities and reflect the demographic under assessment. We are keen to hear your thoughts about what screening you think should or shouldn’t be done, and why.
- The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and preventative health advice. Our online Medical Records System (MRS) will be providing pilots with a health summary after each medical. This aims to highlight those areas where applicants can influence their long-term health by addressing or paying attention to identified risk factors. This is in line with a new ICAO standard – 220.127.116.11. Watch this space for more information.
Finally, this is my last newsletter as CASA’s Principal Medical Officer. I am being ‘repossessed’ by Aotearoa and will finish up at CASA on 31 August. I’ll be returning to the operational end of aviation and will be based at Auckland Airport, working for the airline to Middle-Earth.
I’ve enjoyed a very full and eventful nine years at CASA. Over that time I’ve particularly valued the support of my colleagues and the aviation medicine community, and our ability to have serious yet fruitful conversations. Thank you all. I’ll be leaving you in the very capable hands of Dr Peter Clem, who will be acting in the Principal Medical Officer role following my departure.
Thank you again, and all the best for the future.
Find an examiner
Our new ‘find an examiner’ map is now live on the CASA website. The map allows applicants to zoom in and find DAMEs in their area. The search has been developed based off current practice location addresses provided to CASA. If your details have changed, please let us know so we can update the map accordingly.
DAME assessment eLearning
If you are interested in assessing and issuing Class 2 medicals, don’t forget to register and complete the eLearning module on AviationWorx. Once you’ve completed the module, please let our DAME Liaison Officer know via DAME.Liaison@casa.gov.au and we can update your details.
Aviation Reference Number (ARN) applications
The process for applying for an ARN changed on 2 July. These applications can now be made online. Once your practice nurse or receptionist receives their ARN, please email email@example.com and ask that they be added to your examiner number to assist you in MRS.
DAME applications for designation and re-designation
New forms are now available to help you apply or reapply for designation as a DAME or DAO. These forms are fillable and can be saved and submitted electronically. Please note they do not need to be printed out.
Commenting on ECGs
As a DAME, you have the option in MRS to comment on age-required resting ECG traces. If you are confident commenting on the resting ECG trace please do so, as this will assist with the assessment of the medical application.