adriaticus
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The Red Sweat Mystery

Fri Aug 26, 2005 3:34 pm

Apparently, back in the 70's, there was a phenomenon affecting flight attendants on certain Eastern Airlines flights; shortly after take off, some of them (flight attendants only, no pilots, no passengers) developed itching rashes and spots in their necks and hands, which would ooze blood-like fluid; they would dissappear as spontaneously as they appeared a few minutes to hours thereafter.

I've done some research here, to no avail. Has anybody heard about this?

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LatinPlane
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RE: The Red Sweat Mystery

Fri Aug 26, 2005 4:02 pm

Interesting, first time I hear this! The only other phenomenon that I know where flight attendants experienced symptoms of sickness somewhat similar to this was also in the mid-70s onboard Pan Am's 747SP's. When working particularly the trans-polar flights like JFK-Tokyo, some of the flight attendants would experience nausea, which led to throwing up blood.

I believe that the reason was found to be that the pilots were programming the cabin to have the wrong amount of oxygen level, given that these planes were flying at extremely high altitudes and such step was taken to save fuel burn.

LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
Halophila
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RE: The Red Sweat Mystery

Fri Aug 26, 2005 4:11 pm

Sounds nasty, and first I've heard of this too. Given the F/A's experience a higher number of sectors per year than the average passenger, I'd be inclined to think it was pressure or gas related as Latinplane has indicated.

Most peculiar indeed.
Flown on 707, 717, 727, 732 733 734 735 73G 738 739 741 742 743 744 74SP 757 753 762 763 772 773 77W D10 DC9 M11 M80 M87
 
gearup
Posts: 514
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RE: The Red Sweat Mystery

Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:54 pm

Quoting Adriaticus (Thread starter):
Apparently, back in the 70's, there was a phenomenon affecting flight attendants on certain Eastern Airlines flights; shortly after take off, some of them (flight attendants only, no pilots, no passengers) developed itching rashes and spots in their necks and hands, which would ooze blood-like fluid; they would disappear as spontaneously as they appeared a few minutes to hours thereafter.

This mystery is the subject of a test in the Kepnor-Tregoe problem solving and decision making course. It is used to get people to think in a structured and logical way to solve mysteries. You might try Kepnor-Tregoe resources to get details. If I remember correctly, the rash and colouration was due to the demonstration life vests that were only on the A300. They had a painted slogan in red that said "for demonstration purposes only". It appears that this paint came off easily and caused the irritation and blood-like appearances which affected the cabin crew but the affects wore off quite quickly.

GU
I have no memory of this place.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: The Red Sweat Mystery

Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:08 am

Quoting Halophila (Reply 2):
Given the F/A's experience a higher number of sectors per year than the average passenger, I'd be inclined to think it was pressure or gas related as Latinplane has indicated.

Ironically I fly long haul more than most long haul flight crews. So if you see me suddenly get superhuman powers, blame it on cosmic radiation Big grin
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
broke
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RE: The Red Sweat Mystery

Sat Aug 27, 2005 2:35 am

The red sweat was caused by the red dye on the demonstration life vests the F/A's used to don as part of the emergency equipment briefing. The dye would bleed through the F/A's uniform without staining it noticeably and show up on the skin. It caused a bit of a scare until the reason was found.
 
adriaticus
Posts: 989
Joined: Thu May 06, 2004 3:29 pm

RE: The Red Sweat Mystery

Sat Aug 27, 2005 6:47 am

Thanks to your help, this is what I found:

http://openweb.tvnews.vanderbilt.edu/1980-3/1980-03-19-CBS-20.html

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