kris
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Deceased Pax

Mon Mar 19, 2007 8:41 pm

First, sorry for the sombre subject post.

I have just read a (rather tactlessly written) piece in a UK tabloid newspaper about a woman dying during a long-haul flight and subsequently being carried to first class and propped up with pillows. The article quoted complaints from other passengers about "lack of proper plans to deal with this situation".

I have experience of military aeromedical flights, but I'm just curious as to the correct procedures on a civil aircraft for this situation.

Kris

[Edited 2007-03-19 13:44:37]
 
FlyingColours
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RE: Deceased Pax

Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:09 pm

Well it all depends on the lengh of the flight, as in distance to nearest suitiable airfield. This is the best way I can answer your question, so please bear with me  Smile

* Grab other crewmembers attention (Usually call bell 3+ times in rapid sucession
* Check ABC (Airway, Breathing & Circulation)
* Request Oxygen, Defib, Resus Mask & First Aid Kit & notify Purser & Captain
* Remove person from seat
* Start CPR (While waiting for equipment)
* As equipment arrives get it ready (set up Defib, remove clothing to attach pads, set up oxygen)
* If no pulse use Defib & follow commands

If the passenger comes to, leave pads attached, to their chest (disconnected from machine), leave on oxygen. Aircraft will already be diverting.

If they don't come around & there is still no pulse continue CPR & follow DEFIB commands.

As the aircraft starts approach the passenger should be back in their seat and all equipment stowed (offical rules) however, in all honesty the a (non mandatory) crewmember (with no door responsibilities) will wedge themselves in a gap next to the person to continue (with passengers holding them all down. The DEFIB will not work at this point as the aircraft will be bouncing too much.

Now on a long flight, the same principle applies however you are allowed to discontinue CPR after 30 minutes have elapsed, however if 1 crewmember wishes to continue then all involved crew must continue. If there are family members present and they really want you to go on, its hard to say no so usually the crew would continue.

Those procedures are for when somewhen dies there and then.

When its clear someone has died in their sleep and nobody notices until a few hours after the event, procedure is to leave the person in their seat, wrap them in a blanket up to around the chest as if they were sleeping. It is possible that for other passenger comfort that oxygen be brought and a mask placed on the person but with no flow. This is to avoid upsetting other passengers. If the family wish to they can sit next to their deceased relative for the duration.

Deaths on board are traumatic for all involved, fortunatly I have never experienced one in my 2 years of flying but I have come close, having been taken off a flight in which someone later died and also having operated the next flight following a death on board. The airlines are excellent at handling these events, and as the aircraft returns home the crew will be met by the base managers & will recieve any support they need. They are asked downroute if they wish to bring the aircraft back or spend some time downroute while a fresh crew is positioned in to bring them back.

Unfortunatly however government agencies are not as comforting to the involved parties, with crew having to speak to the coroner (still on the aircraft next to the deceased) & swear on the bible, give lots of statments to the police.... Of course thats only downroute, but is still unpleasent.

I hope that has answered your question.

Phil
FlyingColours
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Deceased Pax

Mon Mar 19, 2007 9:50 pm

You will always find tactless people. The dead body is one thing. The wailing mourner for 3 hours is quite another.

If I had to listen to a woman wail for 3 hours I would be pretty annoyed regardless of the class of service. I'm not saying she shouldn't be upset. I can understand she would be. Note that this is not the same thing as a 6 month old baby crying.

Refund for pax exposed to wailing? Well it's not really the airline's fault... That won't work.

And what if F is full?


There is no clear cut solution. She won't be quiet and I want quiet.
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kris
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RE: Deceased Pax

Mon Mar 19, 2007 10:07 pm

Thanks Phil - I was aware of the Immediate & Emergency Care aspect if a passenger suddenly becomes a patient, it was how to look after "other passenger comfort" if a person was found to have died in their sleep I was interested in.

It's also good to know that crew are looked after by the company if it were to happen on your flight.
 
ThePinnacleKid
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RE: Deceased Pax

Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:18 am

I am not in the back first of all.. so can't speak to what they (flight attendants) do.. but I'll tell you this much... no passenger will ever die in flight (at least at the carrier I work for). Policy dictates that they are only proclaimed "seriously ill" so that the actual pronouncement of death is left to medical staff at the place we land at.
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"
 
FlyingColours
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RE: Deceased Pax

Tue Mar 20, 2007 7:43 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 4):
but I'll tell you this much... no passenger will ever die in flight (at least at the carrier I work for). Policy dictates that they are only proclaimed "seriously ill" so that the actual pronouncement of death is left to medical staff at the place we land at.

Unless there is a qualified mediacal practicioner onboard who wishes to do so, although they in all honesty will not unless they see the crew are exhausted & have no real chance of continuting.

Sure, people are officially decleared deceased as they exit the aircraft, however sometimes they are declared dead in the air or sometimes its on the ground. It all boils down to the way the local officials handle it (providing there is no MD on board).

Keep in mind in Europe an MD is either a Doctor/Surgeon, EMT/EMS or Nurse - not a Dentist or Shrink (for lack of spelling).

Kris - Glad I could help  Smile

Phil
FlyingColours
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Deceased Pax

Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:30 am

Quoting FlyingColours (Reply 5):
Keep in mind in Europe an MD is either a Doctor/Surgeon, EMT/EMS or Nurse - not a Dentist or Shrink (for lack of spelling).

I am not 100% sure, but I believe Dentists are not M.D. They are Dental surgeons. In the US an EMT or a Nurse would not be an MD, even if the nurse has a Ph.D. in nursing.

AFAIK, for shrinks it depends (yes in Europe too) on whether they have an MD or not, if you will. That is, whether they are also trained as physicians, or "only" as psychologists.

But I may be hashing all that.  Wink
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
JAGflyer
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RE: Deceased Pax

Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:54 am

I think if a doctor is on board they can pronounce the person dead and then they can unload the body where it can be taken to a funeral parlor where the family can be contacted/arrangements can be made. I see no need to get hospitals involved if a doctor on the flight can pronounce. Unless there is cause for suspicion or violence is involved the family has the final say in if the coroner can do an autopsy. In Jewish religious law we are prohibited from doing an autopsy unless it is mandated by law. I personally would fight my hardest not to have it done because I don't like the idea of mangling the body, and trust me its quite a nasty thing to do.

[Edited 2007-03-20 01:57:42]
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cptspeaking
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RE: Deceased Pax

Tue Mar 20, 2007 8:58 am

Quoting ThePinnacleKid (Reply 4):
no passenger will ever die in flight (at least at the carrier I work for). Policy dictates that they are only proclaimed "seriously ill" so that the actual pronouncement of death is left to medical staff at the place we land at.

Yeah I thought I had heard this somewhere, I think from a friend who is a FA...that technically the crewmember cannot stop CPR until the plane lands because they cannot pronounce the person dead. Obviously, there comes a point where you'll stop, especially on a long haul, but this was a regional airline and I believe their policy was to land ASAP and comntinue CPR until the coroner arrived to pronounce.

Your CptSpeaking
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ThePinnacleKid
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RE: Deceased Pax

Tue Mar 20, 2007 9:08 am

I believe the reasoning for "critically ill" or "seriously ill" as opposed to "deceased" is also in regards to having an actual location of death... as oppose to "in flight"....by waiting till on the ground it gives a location for the individual to "pass away"...

Eitherway... no one dies on our airplanes. They are just ill till we land. = )

Happy flying!
"Sonny, did we land? or were we shot down?"

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