As militarism advanced in Europe and Asia, it became clear that air power would play a dominant role in the war to come. And while aviation technology had advanced, human physiology had not changed. So while planes could fly faster and higher, crew members had trouble adapting; they would black out, leading to crashes, injuries and deaths.
With specialists in many fields, Mayo Clinic was uniquely positioned to assemble a multidisciplinary team, which became known as the Mayo Aero-Medical Unit.
Innovations from the Mayo-Aero Medical Unit had a widespread ripple effect, contributing to the success of open-heart surgery, commercial and military jet aviation and the space program.
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