tioloko100
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Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:58 pm

It's really sad to learn that a passenger died on Emirates flight few days ago as the flight crew couldn't save her life.
Should the airlines have flight attendants with nursing background as they did in the 1930s to combat situations like this?

http://flyingactive.com/content/74-death-emirates-flight.html
 
rfields5421
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:13 pm

No need for a requirement for special training beyond current levels for flight attendants.

Yes, this does happen a few times each year on almost all major airlines.

The root problem is that people in very poor health fly more today than they did 50 years ago.

Today, the aircraft carries medical equipment able to monitor the patient's condition better than ever in the past. Data can be transmitted back to the airline ops center. Almost every airline has a contracted medical services company which can give detailed analysis of the information and advise of the danger of the patient and possible need for an emergency landing.

There are also a surprisingly large number of doctors and medical professionals flying who can assist a flight crew.

But the reality is that with the huge numbers of people flying today, there will be a few with medical emergencies, and a small percentage of those will be fatal.

Spending tens of thousands of dollars by every airline for advanced medical training of dozens of employees isn't going to change the outcome in but one or two cases per year.
 
Someone83
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:55 pm

There are billions of people flying each year. Statistical a few of them will die during their flight. It normal way of life and all of us will day one day. Can't see the need for starting a thread for each time some die in a plane
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 2:04 pm

Besides, as in the case for my airline there are many many former nurses flying on the longhaul network. Proportionately it won't quite be one a flight, but still of a number that the chances of at least having one a flight are actually quite reasonable and likely better than the chances of actually having an inflight death..
The fact remains they could all be trained nurses and have an ER M.D party of 6 on their way to a medical convention and you can still die
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PHX787
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:46 pm

Quoting Someone83 (Reply 2):
There are billions of people flying each year. Statistical a few of them will die during their flight. It normal way of life and all of us will day one day. Can't see the need for starting a thread for each time some die in a plane

This happens quite a bit and in all honesty there isn't much people can do. If the airline wants to spend the extra bucks putting in hospital gear on their planes, more power to them. Key word: extra money.
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777STL
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:03 pm

I don't see any need. In the US and other first world countries, the odds are pretty good that at least one person out of the 100+ on board is a doctor, nurse, paramedic, or EMT, thus negating the need for medically trained, airline personnel.
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3rdGen
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:42 pm

Even if they put extra gear on board there's no guarantee that the FAs will know how to use it, there's a limit to how much medical training you can give a person not actually in the field of medicine.

There's also the liability, can FAs start doing complicated procedures on individuals? What happens if they mess up and leave the person in a worse condition. Even today there are certain things that FAs cannot do without prior approval from services like MedLink.

In fact apart from the basics and life saving maneuvers in almost all serious cases an FA on the satcom with a medical service only acts as an intermediary between a real doctor and the passenger. It also helps the airline as the medical team take certain part of the liability. In some cases they can advise the captain about whether a diversion is required or not. The final decision lies with the captain of course, but I doubt any pilot would chose to continue after the medical team has advised a diversion (assuming conditions for a diversion are ok and there are no other problems, weather, airport suitability etc.)
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prosa
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:00 pm

What's odd about the story is that the body was put back onboard the flight to MAN after the passenger was pronounced dead at WAW. While that may have been a thoughtful gesture for the family's benefit, I'm surprised that it's legal.
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VC10er
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:28 pm

I am sad to read this and prayers to the passenger and family / friends.

It does bring back to mind a topic I haven't read about in a long time, which are airline blood clots, often coined "coach class clots". Has that problem been reduced with the knowledge of them and the recommended foot excercises in the in flight magazines? It actually happened to me at age 35 and my Doctors blamed my excessive flying for business. They are not to be taken lightly, I almost died!
The world is missing love, let's use our flights to spread it!
 
aviatorcraig
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:32 pm

Quoting PROSA (Reply 7):
What's odd about the story is that the body was put back onboard the flight to MAN after the passenger was pronounced dead at WAW. While that may have been a thoughtful gesture for the family's benefit, I'm surprised that it's legal

The article states that the medics boarded the plane, not that the body was removed from the plane. Therefore, the body was not technically landed in Poland and legal issues were not relevant. If the authorities in WAW let the deceased body continue to destination and maybe distraught family greeters, good for them. I'm sure the last thing the grieving family would have needed was to have to repatriate the body. Common sense appears to have prevailed.

On a different note, why in the original article do they say that it was a 777 and show a picture of an A310?
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FlyBlue777
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:19 pm

yeah, let's have all Walmart employees hvave nursing background, given that 5-10 people die each year in super stores..
 
Viscount724
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:29 pm

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 1):
Yes, this does happen a few times each year on almost all major airlines.

It's quite common. I don't even know why it makes the news. You rarely see news reports when someone dies in a hotel or any other building? Why is it so newsworthy when it happens on an aircraft?

BA said a couple of years ago that they average one inflight death a month. So if you extrapolate that to all carriers there must be many every month.
 
Fabo
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:33 pm

Wait, so this is not about DXB-AMS flight that ended up in PRG with the same unfortunate outcome?
Tough week for EK...
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brilondon
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Sun Nov 25, 2012 9:47 pm

Quoting PROSA (Reply 7):
What's odd about the story is that the body was put back onboard the flight to MAN after the passenger was pronounced dead at WAW. While that may have been a thoughtful gesture for the family's benefit, I'm surprised that it's legal.

I am sure the family was contacted and given the choice. I suppose the airline was also given the choice. The cost of expatriating a body can be very high, and the time and cost of such an activity to get the body to the family would have been silly.
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muzyck
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:01 am

Quoting brilondon (Reply 13):

Would the aircraft need to be taken out of service if the body was removed? I just ask this because cynical me read somewhere that it was always better in this situation that the unfortunate deceased be removed from the aircraft before being pronounced dead.
 
aviateur
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:44 am

Quoting tioloko100 (Thread starter):

People die on planes all the time. This should hardly be shocking when you consider that somewhere on the order of FOUR MILLION people fly every day, globally. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. As others have pointed out, it's a little strange that these stories make the news (though almost anything involving an airplane tends to get picked up by the media).

rfields5421 makes some very good points, above. The demographics of the flying public have changed greatly. Many passengers are elderly or in ill-health. Because of this, medical emergencies and illness-related diversions are now extremely common.

Over the past five years, I've diverted at least four times because of pax medical issues. In fact it happened just the other night, out of JFK, requiring us to dump tens of thousands of pounds of jet fuel in order to return.


PS
Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
 
Gasman
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 6:37 am

Earlier this year I turned around a JQ flight AKL-MEL after a passenger suffered a cardiac arrest about 20 mins into the flight. I was very impressed with the amount of gear carried on the aircraft - a defibrillator and a very well stocked medical kit. But you really had to have OR/ICU skills to fully make use of it (I'm an Anaesthesiologist).

From things I've observed, and heard anecdotally, there are more very unwell people flying unescorted these days than ever before.
 
Maverick623
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:38 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 4):
If the airline wants to spend the extra bucks putting in hospital gear on their planes,
Quoting 3rdGen (Reply 6):
Even if they put extra gear on board there's no guarantee that the FAs will know how to use it

You'd be surprised at how much stuff is in EEMKs... about the same stuff as a regular ambulance (if in smaller quantities). And no, the FAs are not trained to use most of them. Even many MDs, depending on their specialty, may not be able to utilize all of the various drugs or tools in the kit.

Quoting 3rdGen (Reply 6):
The final decision lies with the captain of course, but I doubt any pilot would chose to continue after the medical team has advised a diversion

  

MedLink and other providers are very, very, VERY good at what they do. Usually, if they call for an immediate diversion, it's already been started by the pilot. I have never heard of a situation where they said it was OK to continue, and the passenger suffered more harm as a result.



I am glad to see that nobody has posted the "can't be pronounced dead on the plane" myth.
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Lofty
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 9:44 am

One airline into it's home base has on average 300 Medical Emergencies a year out of them about 10 will be fatal.
 
migair54
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 10:04 am

Every year this happens quite often, but on the other hand we also see women delivering kids on board and other types of medical emergencies, Cabin crew are trained to give a very limited first aids but one of the first thing they must do always is try to find a doctor on board and get a proper attention for the pax.

A short story:
One concorde flight from NYC to CDG, a man has a heart attack on the plane, the cabin crew ask any doctor on board and suddenly 17 cardiologist on board coming back from a meeting in the USA, they assest the situation of the patient and they told the crew to go back to NYC, the guy save his life.


The chances of having a real health issue at airports and planes are much bigger than at any other place, that´s a fact, that´s why you can see at all the airports that medical teams and many defibrillators are located around the airport and with a very easy to use so almost anyone can start the process. However some of the cases are just impossible to recover, even if you are in the hospital.

As far as I know some airlines if the pax is confirmed dead won´t divert the flight and continue to the destination, I´m not sure but BA is one of them, I´m sure some people here can confirm or correct me if i´m wrong.

On a side note, Airlines takes this cases very seriously and in case of having a confirm situation on board pilots will call for a MAYDAY and divert as soon as possible to a suitable airport where the pax can get a proper attention.
 
PanHAM
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:05 am

Quoting FlyBlue777 (Reply 10):
yeah, let's have all Walmart employees hvave nursing background, given that 5-10 people die each year in super stores.

your Walmart superstore has just arrived at gate 25....

well, call the local ambulance, or paramedics as they are called in the US.

Quoting aviatorcraig (Reply 9):
The article states that the medics boarded the plane, not that the body was removed from the plane. Therefore, the body was not technically landed in Poland and legal issues were not relevant.

The paperwork would have been quite a hassle and it would have taken several days to get thje corpse out of WYAW to the final destination, besides, also a costly adventure, regardless if flown or driven to MAN.

A short while ago, a van with several deceased bodies was stolen near Berlin and found in Poland. That took several mdays to get them back..


Regarding the equipment, a defibrillators, which can be used without training, should be on board of each long distance aircraft.
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Quokkas
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:10 pm

As far as I am aware it is a requirement of FAA Regs to have an approved Automated External Defibrillator on board and all Emirates aircraft are so equipped. Naturally there is a well-stocked Medical Kit on board (on one flight I noted the location was indicated by a red crescent).

Crew also have access to the TEMPUS Remote System which records a passenger’s blood pressure, pulse rate, temperature, electrocardiogram (ECG), blood glucose levels, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. Data collected can be sent via the in-flight communications system to emergency medical specialists at the MedLink Response Centre.

Emirates crew does undergo intensive emergency aid training but no matter how dedicated they may be there are often occasions when no intervention can save the life of a critically ill person.

As a matter of interest, does any one know how frequently refresher training in emergency aid is provided?
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26point2
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 2:30 pm

It's the law of averages. Happens everywhere and not just on planes.

Once or twice a year someone from a group of 40,000+ marathon runners drops dead during the event. Always makes the news and the masses soon follow with a knowing smile and an "...ah ha! I knew that running business was dangerous stuff".
 
flyingdoctorwu
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:38 pm

Quoting tioloko100 (Thread starter):
It's really sad to learn that a passenger died on Emirates flight few days ago as the flight crew couldn't save her life.
Should the airlines have flight attendants with nursing background as they did in the 1930s to combat situations like this?


No matter the background, the survival rate for cardiac arrest is pretty darned low. Out of hospital arrest has a survival to discharge rate of


Quoting gasman (Reply 16):

Earlier this year I turned around a JQ flight AKL-MEL after a passenger suffered a cardiac arrest about 20 mins into the flight. I was very impressed with the amount of gear carried on the aircraft - a defibrillator and a very well stocked medical kit. But you really had to have OR/ICU skills to fully make use of it (I'm an Anaesthesiologist).

Just curious; if you are a kiwi doesn't that make you an Anaesthetist?

FDW- An anesthesiologist.

[Edited 2012-11-26 07:39:31]
 
DTWPurserBoy
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Mon Nov 26, 2012 3:47 pm

I am a Registered Nurse and have intervened hundreds of times. Sometimes I made a difference, sometimes they just died anyway. No airline will pay an extra $50.00 an hour on top of your flight salary for being a nurse. I even know one flight attendant that is an MD. Now if it happens that your high school Spanish is passable they WILL pay you more but they expect the professionally trained medical people who just happen to also be flight attendants to give away the service for free. Glad I am not a lawyer or they would have me drafting wills after the meal service.

Last time I checked my airline said they had about 20 people a year die on board. Simple fact of life, especially common when flying to the Philippines where it is not uncommon for family to bring their 101 year old grandma home one more time and sometimes just because they want to die where they were born. Cultural issue to be respected. And some people are flying sicker than we know about. Once in a great while a passenger will tell you they have a specific medical issue but most people are very reluctant to share their medical histories with a perfect stranger.
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tioloko100
Topic Author
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RE: Passenger Died On Emirates Flight

Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:36 am

Quoting DTWPurserBoy (Reply 24):
Now if it happens that your high school Spanish is passable they WILL pay you more

Isn't that not a good thing on the side of the airlines, safety of the passengers come first and airline operators need to at least have something in place to counter this. Diverting a commercial jet will cost them more than hiring an MD per year.

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