Santhosh
Topic Author
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Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 2:27 pm

There are increasing number of cases in which loss of human life occur inflight. This may be due to various reasons such as the passenger might be sick even before boarding the aircraft and so on. Recently a person from my City passed away inflight while enroute to US. That was when I started thinking of it. What if the same thing happens to one of our relatives or friends or people we like the most. What do you think Airline officials must do when such a case happens inflight. And how would you like the crew to handle the deadbody if such an incident happens in the middle of a trans oceanic flight or a non stop long distance flight. What are your opinion and recommendations to the crew to handle such a situation?

S.K.George
Happy Landings :)
 
SouthwestMDW
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 2:33 pm

Personally, I think I would like the crew to not point a lot of attention to it, keep it as secret as long as possible; just because I would probably think that other passengers would not be comfortable around a dead/rotting body. I would also think in extreme cases, an emergency landing would be in order because if there is a bad odor from the body, you do not want that to keep being circulated in the air.

SouthwestMDW
 
Santhosh
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:30 pm

I do agree with you suggestion that the airline crew must try to remove the body from the aircraft as soon as possible and without much attension of the passengers.

Happy Landings :)
 
pilotntrng
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:47 pm

well first and foremost the aircraft is going to declare medical emergency and divert to the nearest airport. That happened to us twice this past summer both with ATA. One being a 757 and one a 737NG. One died in the air and another lived, but was transported to a local hospital. I have seen a lot of these and trust me the most utmost care and sensitivity is given both from the flight crew and the ground crew.
Booooo Lois, Yaaaa Beer!!!
 
Santhosh
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:56 pm

In the case of diversion of flight due to Medical Emergency will the passengers family have to bare with all the costs involved with the handling of the deadbody until it reaches back home?

Happy Landings :)
 
ha763
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:48 pm

At the airline I have worked for, the procedure has been that unless the deceased person is in danger of releasing their body fluids, the body should be put into a seat, covered, and if possible, pax moved to other seats. I believe there was also an option to move the body to the rear door. If possible, pax should be moved. Once on the ground, medical personal will remove the body.

If a person passes away during a flight, the body is then considered to be a biohazard.
 
aq737
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:55 pm

I would hate to be on one of these flights! Wouldn't everyone turn il because air is recirculated? Anyway, you said passengers would be moved if possible. What would happen if the plane was 100% full?

I remember learning (source unknown) that once a body was put into a closet because there were no other suitable locations or something.

Aq737
 
flyinghighboy
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 5:59 pm

oh man, if i found out the person next to me was dead i'd freak. I'd have probably thought that the person was just sleeping throughout the flight
 
Skydrol
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:02 pm

Another option could be to place the body in a lav and lock the door from the outside with 'inop' sign. Cabin air is exhausted from lavatories and galleys.
I'm sure I've heard of this being done, but I have been fortunate enough not to (knowingly) be on such a flight.



LD4
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L-188
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:04 pm

do agree with you suggestion that the airline crew must try to remove the body from the aircraft as soon as possible and without much attension of the passengers

Wrong!!!

If the person is actually declared in flight then the cops have got to meet the airplane and conduct an investigation. You want to preserve the scene as much as possible.

This is one of the reasons the passengers are moved away, that and the whole sitting next to a body thing, and the covering the body is, well, both a respect thing and an sitting next to the body thing.

I work medivac flights, and although it hasn't happened on one of my shifts, there have been cases where the transport expired in-flight. Heard that there where cops all over the place doing their evidence and statement gathering.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
2912n
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:08 pm

Why would you get ill from having a dead body on the plane? You may feel uncomfortable around a dead person, but if the person had a heart attack etc...being around the body is not going to do anything to you. It will take quite a long time for the body to go into any type of condition where you will notice any smell. People die, it is part of life.
 
Santhosh
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:09 pm

Are there any known cases in which the airline crew(Pilots or flight attendants) expired inflight?In such a case how is the situation handled?
Happy Landings :)
 
L-188
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:10 pm

Well, I understand that all muscles relax typically, so you end up basicly doing your last Number #1 and #2 right there.

And although bodies decompose, I suspect 2912 is correct, they don't decompose that fast.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Skydrol
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:19 pm

From 'Commando'...

Schwarzenegger, to F/A after breaking neck of the guard seated beside him at the start of flight: "Please don't bother my friend. He's dead tired."






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EK345
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:37 pm

Are there any known cases in which the airline crew(Pilots or flight attendants) expired inflight?In such a case how is the situation handled?

I believe that a captain had expired on a British Airways flight a couple of years ago. The flight continued on to its final destination (i think it was somewhere in south east asia), and then they took the body off the flight. the passengers were never notified only the crew was informed. That is all i remember. anyone else who remembers more details feel free to elaborate.

EK345

[Edited 2003-12-27 10:39:47]
"and miles to go before I sleep..."
 
FLY777UAL
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:45 pm

...talk about a permanent crew rest...

F L Y 7 7 7 U A L
 
Tiger119
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:56 pm

What a time to miss place my AIM/FAR manual! I'm sure this issue is addressed and I don't have my manual with me. Anyone have one handy? I have been on flights when people have become ill, so ill ARFF crews met the plane, but I have never been on a flight where a person passed away. And each occasion of a death is different, would CPR be called for or is the patient terminal with DNR papers signed by a doctor? And do the airlines (individually) have internal policies on what to do in this situation? So many questions, so little time...........
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
 
L-188
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:06 pm

Well once you start lifesaving operations, such as CPR you are supposed to continue to preform those actions until relieved, physically unable to continue or a doctor(who AFAIK is the only person that can actually declare someone dead) declares the person dead.

So I guess say a person starts to croak on an airplane, you have to start CPR. You are going to be stuck through doing CPR probably through until EMS meets the aircraft on the ground.

I wouldn't worry about breaking the seatbelts FAR's on landing. That guys life is more important. Besides if you didn't continue all the way through untill the EMS guys showed up, I would think the second-guessing "did I do everything" would be horrible.

OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Tiger119
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:23 pm

L-188:

Reference starting CPR, you're absolutely correct about being relieved (etc), but that's here in the States. What if this was an international flight occurring outside the States?

I have heard of flights where a patient went into full cardiac arrest and passengers/crew were performing CPR, the flight diverted and patient care handed off to EMS/ARFF. I guess my question is: Do airlines have policies on this or is it addressed in a AIM/FAR manual? Is it handled case by case? Now I can't wait to get off work to get home and look it up.
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
 
L-188
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:25 pm

I dunno.

My thoughts on this situation, is screw the manual, and perform it until you loose hope.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Tiger119
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:27 pm

L-188,

Oh, I agree, I'm right there with you. I guess I was just curious on what the Feds have to say on the matter.
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to mankind, landing is the first!
 
B747-437B
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:55 pm

In practice, a death NEVER occurs inflight. As has been pointed out here, the paperwork and formalities involved are horrendously long and complicated.

If the passenger is obviously dead and there is no medical diversion feasible (eg. mid-ocean), the passenger will be placed in an empty row of seats with an oxygen bottle. That way, the passenger is not officially declared dead until they are removed from the aircraft and examined by a doctor - and hence the death did not occur on the aircraft.

Decomposition is hardly an issue in most circumstances. Far more dangerous is the risk of rigor mortis setting in, especially if the body is stowed in a strange or unnatural position.

I know of multiple crew members who have passed away inflight. It is usually treated no differently than if a passenger passes away unless there is a crew shortage issue involved (eg. one of two pilots dies), in which case they divert at the earliest.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
nwa330tony
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 8:09 pm

Very touchy subject for me! My brother passed in flight to PuertoRico aboard TWA when i was younger to this day My father refuses to fly. To those who have never witnessed, consider yourselves lucky. to those who think airline should hide the body,how would you feel if this was a member of your family and crew asked to place body out of site, how would you react?
Just something to think about b4 u start posting ignorant answers here!

Despite my bad luck on Airplanes i still love aviation and im currently in school for ATC.

Tony C  Crying
 
L-188
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 8:22 pm

In practice, a death NEVER occurs inflight.

Absolutely correct!
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Santhosh
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 8:30 pm

Are flight attendants trained to do CPR and other life saving techniques and are the qualified enough to do that in the case of an emergency?
Happy Landings :)
 
L-188
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 8:35 pm

Trained to do what?

Declare death?

NOOOOO!!!
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
Santhosh
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 8:45 pm

With reference to NWA330T

I do agree with what you told.I have never witnessed such a situation inflight or have lost any of my relatives onboard. But I can imagine the feeling of the people who had to witness such situations.Thinking on your behalf its very very hard for us to see our love ones being placed in the lavatory, galleys,floor etc..... To be honest I actually started the topic to get your clearcut reactions.

"How do you all think that the crew must respect the dead man?When you answer please think as if what you would like the air crew to do if this happens to your love ones."

S.K.George
Happy Landings :)
 
AALGAgirl
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 11:22 pm

I can remember working the gates at lga when we were notified inbound DC10
had an emergency contact med and the port.He was the husband of an employee who had a heart attack it was late at night and I remember going on board to open the door and in the galley between y and f was this very big man and as the crew was working on him the ems arrived and the port they took over but ...the one thing that i do remember most was his wife standing in the first row holding onto a crew memeber not knowing what to do she looked at me and said my god my god my husband //where are my kids//she had grown children waiting for her outside //the ems kept working on him till the hosptial // where he was declared //
the crew did what was expected of them in a difficult time admin cpr and confort and control the situtiation
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 11:26 pm

Crew members are not authorized to pronounce anyone dead in flight.

Occasionally someone will die inflight and no one knows until the airplane lands. I had a fellow expire on a 30 minute flight one time. I remember seeing him reading a book until shortly before landing. He put the book away, brought his seat up, we landed and taxied to the gate. He appeared to be asleep -- when I tried to wake him up to deplane, it was obvious he was deceased. We did CPR on him, but it was, of course, to no avail.

On a long flight, a medical emergency would be declared and the airplane would divert.

Under no set of circumstances would I ever have declared someone dead and dumped him in a closet or a bathroom. I am neither authorized or am I qualified to prounounce a person dead. If I had a doctor on board who was qualified to prnounce someone dead, I would simply have put that person in a seat, covered him with a blanket, set him up with an oxygen bottle and faked it. A medical emergency would be declared and the person removed at the first possible landing place.

It takes a while for a dead body to develop and odor. Also, the air that's in the plane is the air that's in the plane. The same air circulates all over the plane so there would be no health benefit to anyone to simply dump someone in a bathroom.

The exception would be someone who had committed suicide by slitting his wrists in the bathroom. This happened on an old National Airlines flight one time. The blood would be an obvious biohazard and the person would remain where he was.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 11:34 pm

To perform effective CPR you have to place the person stretched out on a hard surface. The only place on board where you have sufficient space to work on the person would be the galley floor, which has the additional advantage of having curtains to close the area off.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
funflyer
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 11:41 pm

Does the airline charge you for diverting the flight?? If you got sick or died? Because it does cost a lot to do that I'm sure.




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SA006
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sat Dec 27, 2003 11:58 pm

Well I found this out from my mom who was an F/A for SAA.

If there is a dead body on the plane it is the captains decision. If someone is having a heart attact or somethin similar the plane will divert to the closest airport. Just my opinion. Dunno if its the facts!

Rgds
SA006
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markyboy
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 12:14 am

A couple of months back on a flight between Glasgow in the UK and Birmingham a rather large fellow had a massive heart attack and died right next to my mum's boyfriend throwing his coffee all over him in the process. I forget the airline involved, either BA or BE, however they moved those sitting around the dead guy further back and the aircraft diverted to Manchester to be met by medical staff who removed the body and the police who took statements.

Wonder what would have happened had the flight been 100% full though if it wasn't possible to relocate other pax till they landed.

markyboy.
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 12:20 am

MD11Engineer:

To perform effective CPR you have to place the person stretched out on a hard surface. The only place on board where you have sufficient space to work on the person would be the galley floor, which has the additional advantage of having curtains to close the area off.

That's where we put him to perform CPR.

FunFlyer:

Does the airline charge you for diverting the flight?? If you got sick or died? Because it does cost a lot to do that I'm sure.

I know that they did used to charge people for this. I cannot imagine them doing it now. It is not as if the person simly decided to die or become ill in flight.

SA006:

If there is a dead body on the plane it is the captains decision. If someone is having a heart attact or somethin similar the plane will divert to the closest airport. Just my opinion. Dunno if its the facts!

That's true. However, it can be really difficult to tell if someone is actually dead or is in a deep coma. The reason behind the holding of wakes for the dead was to be absolutely sure they were dead before burying them.

I can't imagine a captain deciding that someone was dead and just flying on. If someone committed suicide and was already turning blue when he was found, I could see just shutting the door and going on. Generally in the U.S. if there's even the tiniest possibility that someone may not be dead, he is presumed to be alive and the flight is diverted.

The problem is determining whether or not someone is dead or in a coma. Sometimes the heartbeat and respiration can be so faint that it can be picked up by only the most modern hospital equipment.


 
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Bruce
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 1:36 am

Why do so many people die inflight?

Is it because the air pressure in the cabin is equal to 8,000 feet? I know some older people or those with weak hearts cant go to high altitude areas, and an airplane cabin is like a high altitude area.

bruce
Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:08 am

Bruce:

Why do so many people die inflight?

I think the overwhelming majority of them would have died had they been sitting behind their desks or on their sofas watching Monday Night Football.

Being on the airplane may play a part in a very tiny number of these deaths, but mostly, they would have died anyway.
 
tcfc424
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:15 am

As a firefighter/EMT, I have dealt with death/dying and the legalities of it, as far as on the ground is concerned. I believe that f/a's are certified in CPR and, at least in the US, I believe an AED is rapidly becoming standard (though I would hesitate to shock someone at 35K feet in an aluminum tube...) As far as pronouncement is concerned, the only two people that can make this call are a MEDICAL doctor and a justice of the peace (or equivalent based on locale). This can be accomplished without one physically present, however. Responding out of the city, we have called the regional trauma center and talked to the emergency physician via a recorded line and they make the pronouncement, based on your actions and observations. The body, when death occurs, does relax. At times, this can cause urination and defecation, but not always. It does, however take quite a while for decay to set in such that you would notice it. The police will tailor their investigation based upon the situation. If its a 100 year old man who had a heart attack, they may take a few statements and be gone. However, if there is any chance of foul play, break out the coffee and blankets, cause it's going to be a while. Why they would do this on a medevac flight is beyond me...most people on those flights are there because they are in serious condition and the odds are against them at this point. However, if that person was the victim of a crime that resulted in the medical condition...well then...

Sorry I have rambled, just a lot of things being addressed at once...don't you love all of the "gray areas" that exist?
 
globetrekker
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RE: In-flight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:19 am

KLM agent here.
A few year ago a gentleman traveling from Aruba to Amsterdam died on board the aircraft. It was a 747-400 and he was sitting in World Business Class upperdeck. They moved everyone downstairs and diverted to the Azores where they took the body off the aircraft. After that they continued to AMS. The lady who was sitting next to him did not continue on the same flight because she got hysterical that their was a dead man sitting next to her. They didn't know each other. I too would have been creeped out.

Morbid....
The World Is A Book And Those Who Do Not Travel Read Only A Page
 
PiedmontGirl
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 2:22 am

Tcfc424:

I believe an AED is rapidly becoming standard (though I would hesitate to shock someone at 35K feet in an aluminum tube...)

Those AEDs are becoming standard and early next year will be required on all U.S. registered planes.

They work beautifully at 35,000 feet and there are people who are alive becuse the AED was on board.
 
afay1
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 5:32 am

I remember reading about a Swedish gentleman who expired on-board an Aeroflot flight last year. He originated in BKK and was connecting through Moscow to Stockholm. No one realized he was dead until the plane landed in Moscow. Apparently airport officials simply hauled him off to the morgue and the flight continued. No one ever bothered to inform his family, and Aeroflot offered no explanation to relatives at the gate in Stockholm. Relatives found him in a Moscow morgue several weeks later. Since his passport was still on the body the question of why no one called the Swedish embassy was asked. The answer was that the phone number had changed and no one bothered to look it up or send someone over to it. Typical....
 
2912n
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 6:10 am

Being in a line of work where we wind up dealing with dead people on a fairly regular basis...

It is fairly rare that people urinate/defecate when they die. It does happen at times, but is not a rule.

Rigor begins to set in as soon as death occurs, but it takes on the order of 12 hours for it to go through the entire body (several factors invovled in time. Heat, humidity etc...) I think it would be the rare flight that anyone would actually see rigor set in. And usually the body just stiffens in the position of death. On occasion arms may curl etc, but usually you don't notice unless you touch the body.

Rules vary about who can pronounce someone dead. If it just occured it generally has to be an MD. But if death is obvious, ie...body is cold and in full rigor, death is assumed. Other things, that probably would not be seen on an airplane barring a crash, are things like decapitation etc...Absent that life saving procedures should be done...

CPR is more of a public relations thing...the stats just don't support people living because of it. Frequently more damage is done by people doing CPR on a person who actually still has a beating heart. The heart is weak and the compressions just screw it up more. Thankfully the AED's are coming on line and they remove much of the doubt.
 
L-188
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 3:09 pm

Frequently more damage is done by people doing CPR on a person who actually still has a beating heart

Don't doubt that.

More then once I have heard that unless you aren't breaking ribs you aren't doing it correctly.
OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
 
tcfc424
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Sun Dec 28, 2003 3:37 pm

CPR...

Yes, if you aren't breaking ribs, you probably aren't making enough compression to affect the heart...however, not always...you have to look at the patient...40's +, yes, there should be some (pardon the pun) snap-crakle-pop...one of the worst feelings you could ever hope to experience. But on a patient <40, that is not necessary as bones are more flexible and as a GENERAL rule do not break as easily. One note: I do have a CPR save to my and my crew's credit that was a 70+ man with no bones being broken...no AED needed, most insane thing I ever experienced...

AED's are lifesavers. I worked on a gentleman within the administration of the American Heart Association who had collapsed at AUS, revived by AED...awesome feeling...he walked out days later.

I think the proliferation of AEDs in public places is amazing...they are picture and color coded and tell the user what is needed. Here, it is a separate certification, however realisticly, anyone can use the device effectively if they have common sense. There are pictures to show you pad placement (it's not rocket science) and directions that explain exactly what to do. Plus, the computerized voice tells you what to do as soon as you turn it on..."Apply Pads" "Stand Clear" "Shock Advised" "Continue CPR" etc...amazing device and much needed.
 
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jetjack74
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Mon Dec 29, 2003 1:14 am

Doctors will rarely declare someone dead on a flight. The refer to them as a fataly sick, because then they become responsible for testimony for issuing a death certificate, something which most doctors are reluctant to do. Also if someone is reported dead during a flight, the aircraft must be quarantined and disinfected which could take hours if not days, depending on how fast local reglulators permit.
Made from jets!
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Mon Dec 29, 2003 1:35 am

Here in Germany doctors take the responsibility when they pronounce a person dead that there hasn´t been foul play. To be sure it would meabn either acleancut case (somebody suffering of a fatal desease and being in this doctor´s care) or they would have to do at least a basic post mortem inspection of the whole body. If there is any doubt the state persecutor gets involved and a coroner ( like my father who drowned in his bathtub after suffering a third stroke, the body was held by the authorities for a full post mortem to exclude foul play). Many doctors who are not pathologists or in forensic medicine don´t like this duty, so they won´t declare the person dead.
CPR is a hit and miss game. I also had a elderly, very corpulent man dying under my hands while I was trying to get his heart working again on a hot day at a beach.
It is sad when somebody dies, but I don´t understand people who freak out about it. Dying is a part of life and we all have to face it some day.

Jan
Je Suis Charlie et je suis Ahmet aussi
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Mon Dec 29, 2003 1:53 am

A few years back, I got a call from a SLC-PDX flight that was about halfway there, and they had an elderly lady that had stopped breathing. There was a doctor onboard and he said that she had expired, and we also learned from her adult daughter (traveling with her) that her mother had terminal cancer (just released from a hospital in Salt Lake), and was essentially going back to Portland to die.

Given the nature of the situation, diverting to Spokane would have been a big inconvenience for the family (they didn't know anyone there) plus they would have had to eventually transport the body back to Portland. The captain and I discussed it and we elected to keep on going to Portland, only another 30 minutes of flight time. The F/As moved a few passengers around to provide some privacy, and they landed in Portland shortly thereafter. The aircraft was scheduled to remain overnight at Portland anyway, so there was no rush on paperwork.

I guess the point of this story is that that one has to take each one of these kinds of incidents as they come and handle them on their own merits, based on whatever rules/policies one's own airline/country has. That said, I think one also has to balance the humanity aspect. Diverting the above flight into Spokane might have filled a square on a form/checklist somewhere, but in the contexts of the deceased passenger's family, and the other folks who wouild have been delayed by a diversion, I'm confident the best decision was made for our situation...

ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
kilavoud
Posts: 863
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 7:47 pm

RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Mon Dec 29, 2003 3:23 am

I have flewn this week-end Madras-Singapore-Zurich with SQ with a one day stop-over in Singapore. My flight was wonderful, free upgrade to Raffles Class between Madras and Singapore and three seats to relax in economyclass bewtween Singapore and Zurich and the nice service from Singapore Airlines.

If some old person has died during the long flight between Singapore and Zurich (12 hours 50 min.), I would prefer never to know about it, and I am sure that the FAs from SQ would have handled the situation with all the respect that Asian people have for old persons in extrem difficult situations.

All the best to every Airliner. Cheers. Kilavoud.
 
necigrad
Posts: 173
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2001 2:25 am

RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:18 pm

Not reading every post, but read like the first third. If someone were to die inflight, the flight would declare a medical emergency and land at the nearest sutiable airport, as mentioned. Flgiht crews have access to a doctor for consultation inflight through MEDLINK and a few other programs.

One point of note though. No one dies on an aircraft, except in a crash. Why? Where did the passenger die? Which coroner has jurisdiction? Further, as pointed out earlier, the plane would need to be taken out of service for an investigation. When a passenger "dies" inflight, and it does happen, the flight is met by paramedics. Usually the medics will make an attempt at resussitation, even if just for show to the family. The passenger is then moved to the jetway, another usueless life saving attempt made, and then declared dead.

All airlines in the US are required to have employees trained to assist passengers and survivors of passengers in the event of an accident. While I'm not positive, I'm pretty sure these individuals would assist as needed, simply as a courtesy of the airline. Airlines may seem to conspire agaist family vacations and improtant business trips, but this is something they'd be very civil about. I find it INCREDIABLY hard to believe an airline would charge for a medical divert.
 
acvitale
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:36 pm

When I worked for Pan American we rarely if ever had anyone die on the plane. There were quite a few that expired on the jetway just off the aircraft. But, never on the plane.

The reasons outlined by B747-437B are correct.

A C Vitale
 
TWAL1011
Posts: 2318
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 12:39 pm

RE: Inflight Deaths And Deadbodies

Mon Dec 29, 2003 12:50 pm

Once on a 767 at AA we were performing CPR on a large male passenger in the rear of the 767. Unfortunately he passed and we still had two hours left inflight (we were not near a diversion city). We had trouble moving him from the rear door area, so we dragged him into the aft galley and covered him with a blanket while one of the flight attendants sat with his wife for the remainder of the trip. On landing he slid forward in the galley, out from under the blanket and crashed into the legs of the number 9 and 10 flight attendants who had jumpseats facing aft in that galley. They were pretty freaked out. We did our best to save him, maintain his dignity and comfort his wife.

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