Assessing aeromedical risk: A three-dimensional risk matrix approach

Gary Gray, Dennis Bron, Eddie D. Davenport, Joanna D'Arcy, Norbert Guettler, Olivier Manen, Thomas Syburra, Rienk Rienks, Edward D. Nicol*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Early aeromedical risk i was based on aeromedical standards designed to eliminate individuals ii from air operations with any identifiable medical risk, and led to frequent medical disqualification. The concept of considering aeromedical risk as part of the spectrum of risks that could lead to aircraft accidents (including mechanical risks and human factors) was first proposed in the 1980s and led to the development of the 1% rule which defines the maximum acceptable risk for an incapacitating medical event as 1% per year (or 1 in 100 person-years) to align with acceptable overall risk in aviation operations. Risk management has subsequently evolved as a formal discipline, incorporating risk assessment as an integral part of the process. Risk assessment is often visualised as a risk matrix, with the level of risk, urgency or action required defined for each cell, and colour-coded as red, amber or green depending on the overall combination of risk and consequence. This manuscript describes an approach to aeromedical risk management which incorporates risk matrices and how they can be used in aeromedical decision-making, while highlighting some of their shortcomings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S9-S16
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • healthcare delivery
  • quality and outcomes of care
  • research approaches


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