Title from title screen (viewed on Aug. 22, 2007).
Includes bibliographical references.
A previous study has shown a correlation between diabetic pilots and elevated postmortem vitreous humor and urine glucose levels. This information has helped accident investigators assess the medical condition of the pilot at the time of the accident and allowed the Office of Aviation Medicine (OAM) to closely monitor medical certification standards concerning diabetic pilots. Vitreous humor glucose levels can be influenced by several non-diabetic factors such as stress and medications. Therefore, it would be useful to know the HbA1C level of the pilot to confirm the diagnosis of diabetes and help assess the pilot's prior control of the diabetic condition. The analysis of blood collected from aviation accidents is complicated by the frequent delay of several weeks in receiving specimens. Autopsies are often delayed by difficulties in recovering bodies from remote accident sites, specimen collection, and sending samples to the laboratory. This delay in analysis requires that HbA1C levels be stable in postmortem blood for extended periods of time. Earlier studies have reported HbA1C stability in postmortem blood collected and tested shortly after death. This study intends to examine the stability of HbA1C in blood stored over an extended period of time.