About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Guidelines to Manage In-flight Medical Emergencies

by Colleen Fleiss on February 27, 2018 at 12:53 AM
Font : A-A+

Guidelines to Manage In-flight Medical Emergencies

New article published in CMAJ reveals practical tips for physicians on airplanes who may step in to help in a medical emergency.

"Hearing the call go out for a doctor onboard at 36 000 feet can be anxiety-provoking for any physician," says Dr. Alun Ackery, an emergency physician at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto. "If the health professional offers their expertise, they may have to manage an unfamiliar clinical scenario, in a foreign and limited environment without knowledge of the available resources. This article provides practical tips to inform physicians about what to expect if they are in this situation."

Advertisement


The article reviews the policies and procedures of Canada's two major airlines, Air Canada and WestJet Airlines Ltd. and literally unpacks the medical equipment found onboard these carriers in a video to help health care professionals understand what they might encounter during an in-flight medical emergency and what resources are available to help with treatment.

An estimated 2.75 billion passengers worldwide fly each year on commercial airlines, with 133.4 million fliers in Canada in 2015, a 27% increase over 2009. The increased number of passengers is one reason for an increase in in-flight medical emergencies. Another reason is longer flights, which subject people to stressors, such as lower oxygen humidity levels, for a longer period of time.
Advertisement

There are no standardized methods for identifying in-flight emergencies making it difficult to find reliable incidence rates. Estimates range from one medical emergency per every 604 flights (16 events per one million passengers) to one per 7700 passengers. The top five causes of medical emergencies are lightheadedness/loss of consciousness (37.4%), respiratory symptoms (12.1%), nausea or vomiting (9.5%), cardiac symptoms (7.7%) and seizures (5.8%).

Physicians are the primary responders in 40% to 50% of in-flight emergencies, nurses and paramedics in 5% to 25% and flight attendants alone in almost half (45%) of incidents. The authors suggest that in complex medical situations, a team-based approach, assigning clear roles and responsibilities to use the skills of other health care professionals, is valuable. Flight attendants should be involved as key resources who know the aircraft, emergency procedures and can liaise with the cockpit and ground communications staff for telemedicine support and potential emergency landings.

Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
January is the Thyroid Awareness Month in 2022
Menstrual Disorders
Coffee May Help You Fight Endometrial Cancer
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Urology Paediatric Emergencies 

Recommended Reading
Red Flag Symptoms You Must Never Ignore
Any deviation from normal health can cause symptoms, some of which are ominous and need immediate .....
Trauma Care
Accident and trauma care is an important public health challenge that requires immediate attention. ...
Medical Emergency Visits Predictable Using Internet Data
Internet data may in future be useful in predicting next-day visits to regional emergency ......
Physicians' Advice on Improving Response To In-Flight Medical Emergencies
BOSTON - The concepts now at the center of the health care quality movement, adopted in large part ....
Urology Paediatric Emergencies
The testis can go for a twist inside the sac it is held. This results in loss of blood supply. If le...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
ASK A DOCTOR ONLINE
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)