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mikegigs
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Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:33 pm

A South Carolina family is suing AA after a woman died following a collapse on a AA102 from HNL to DFW. The family claims that after a doctor on board examined the woman and suggested an immediate diversion to the captain (somewhere over New Mexico), the pilot opted to continue to DFW after conferring with a doctor on the ground. The woman died days later at a Dallas hospital.

Additionally, the family claims that medical equipment that was on board failed to function correctly.

I didn't even know that aircraft carried some of the medical equipment mentioned in the article (blood pressure machine wasn't working, nor was the defibrillator, but I was aware they are carried on board). I didn't want to start a thread that will turn into AA bashing but this seemed like it should be discussed. What is everyone else's thoughts?

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/04/2 ... woman.html
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Jetty
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:37 pm

As I value an original source more than Fox News, the actual lawsuit: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... ocument/p1
 
itchief
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:48 pm

A quick search finds this,

The FAA requires AEDs on all airplanes of air carriers operating under part 121 with a maximum payload capacity of more than 7,500 pounds and with at least one flight attendant. Affected airplanes typically would have a capacity for 30 passengers or more requiring at least one flight attendant. The FAA also requires an EMK on all airplanes of air carriers operating
Subject: EMERGENCY MEDICAL EQUIPMENT
1. What is the purpose of this advisory circular (AC)?
Par 10 Page 1
AC 121-33B 1/12/06
under part 121 for which at least one flight attendant is required. EMKs and AEDs are “no-go” items and must be carried as indicated on the Minimum Equipment List.

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/med ... 21-33B.pdf

AA made some large mistakes in judgement and with the equipment on-board the aircraft that failed to work.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:58 pm

Of course, I must first say this is a horrible event, sadly one that was totally unpreventable from the initial event.

With that said, in my line of work every week we have someone die in one of our hotels, 99.99999% of the time it's them asleep in their room, we of course take actions to help the next of kin and family (providing free rooms etc for them) but you know what, half the time we still get sued.

I mentioned this because that was my first reaction, companies get sued all the time for things they have no part off, it sucks, it costs them money to defend, but it's all part of doing business.

However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.

As for the equipment not working, how often is it checked ? We check ours every 12 hours, of course we are on land, but once a day maybe ?
 
IPFreely
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:08 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


We don't know enough about the doctor on board. Maybe he or she was trained and experienced in emergency medicine. And maybe he or she is a dermatologist or podiatrist who at best could relay observations to another doctor on the ground.
 
D L X
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:12 pm

Sad case.

I doubt this case would ever see a court, with the parties reaching an agreement. Nobody wins this at court.

With that said, it's a pretty tough accusation that the plane could have been on the ground much faster to ABQ than to DFW if it was at cruise when this happened. How would the doctor know how long it would take to get to ground medical attention? Which side of ABQ was the plane on? (If'it was beyond ABQ, it's an hour out of DFW and beginning its descent.

It's also a pretty tough accusation that the plane was over ABQ at the time. How would the passenger and doctor know where the plane was?

Finally, it's a pretty tough accusation that reaching ABQ, had it been sooner than reaching DFW, would have saved the passenger's life.

Even had the equipment been working correctly, that's a lot of stuff to prove. Crappy situation all around.
 
NBGSkyGod
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:13 pm

Depending on where over New Mexico the event occurred, it was more than likely flying to DFW was quicker than trying to descend, burn/dump excess fuel, and land at another airport.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:19 pm

IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


We don't know enough about the doctor on board. Maybe he or she was trained and experienced in emergency medicine. And maybe he or she is a dermatologist or podiatrist who at best could relay observations to another doctor on the ground.


Very true, as usual with these things on here we know very little of the facts.
 
mabadia71
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:28 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
As for the equipment not working, how often is it checked ? We check ours every 12 hours, of course we are on land, but once a day maybe ?


IIRC they should be checked at the begging of every flight since they are MEL items.
mabadia71
 
hivue
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:29 pm

itchief wrote:
AA made some large mistakes in judgement and with the equipment on-board the aircraft that failed to work.


The legal brief linked above tries to imply that the AED failed because it delivered no shock after 3 "attempts." The AED's declining to shock the victim is not an indication of failure. The victim may have been asystolic or in a rhythm that defibrillation could not have rectified.
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Jetty
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 pm

NBGSkyGod wrote:
Depending on where over New Mexico the event occurred, it was more than likely flying to DFW was quicker than trying to descend, burn/dump excess fuel, and land at another airport.

AA pilots did contact a doctor on the ground twice to asses the urgency, the first time 90 minutes before landing, the second time 45. You might be right about the motivation to fly to DFW after the second consultation, but before the first consultation the doctor on board already advised an emergency landing.

Facts unconfirmed but as alleged in the lawsuit of course.
 
Miamiairport
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:39 pm

My understanding is that the equipment is part of every pre flight when a new crew comes onboard. I’ve had flights delayed because the equipment is inoperable.
 
Yflyer
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:49 pm

IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


We don't know enough about the doctor on board. Maybe he or she was trained and experienced in emergency medicine. And maybe he or she is a dermatologist or podiatrist who at best could relay observations to another doctor on the ground.


Also, IIRC the doctors they consult with on the ground consider more than just the patient's condition when recommending whether or not to divert. They're also able to see the plane's current position, ETA at all the possible diversion airports, medical facilities available in each of those cities, etc. They might have recommended continuing to DFW for reasons the doctor on the plane wasn't aware of.

That said, if it's true that the medical equipment on the plane didn't work, that would still be grounds for suing AA IMO.
 
Adispatcher
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:49 pm

jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


Our company policy is to solicit medical expertise from anyone on board, but that person has zero authority when it comes to diversions or anything operational. The doctor being patched in with the flight will recommend or not recommend a course of action to follow based on information received. I'm not sure what that means, from a liability perspective, for the ground-based doctors. They can only recommend solutions to airborne problems.
 
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flyingclrs727
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:57 pm

If the AA flight was over New Mexico, the pilots were probably already descending into their approach to DFW. How much faster is it to change the course, make a steepp descent, and land at a closer airport, than to continue on the approach to the scheduled destination that has already started?
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:31 pm

Jetty wrote:
As I value an original source more than Fox News, the actual lawsuit: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents ... ocument/p1
Thx, much appreciated.

Let's see if I can summarise things;
The woman was 25 years old, and not obviously obese, so definitely not the most obvious candidate for a pulmonary embolism and/or cardiac arrest
From para 7; "..approximately three hours after departure from Honolulu, while the flight was flying over or near the City of Los Angeles, Brittany became dizzy and disorientated."
HNL-LA in just three hours? That's some tailwind!
The doctor on board initially believed Brittany was suffering a panic attack. I shall resist the temptation to query if the passenger-doctor should have made a better diagnosis - we have the benefit of hindsight, and that is an unfair advantage.

Time passes. "Between one to three hours later, while the flight was over or near Alburquerque..." - this bit sounds rather vague.
It was also stated that this equated to being 1½-2hrs out from DFW.
Meanwhile, Brittany has just made her way to a middle toilet, and after a short time collapses in the toilet. The FAs are called, attend Brittany, fetch the Doctor/passenger again, and fetch the medical kit. It is now that the Doctor/passenger suggests the plane is diverted, but by my guess another 10-15 minutes has passed, leaving the aircraft possibly just 1hr15mins from it's scheduled arrival at DFW, presumably even less if the flight was running ahead of schedule due to tailwinds. In fact the submission states the pilots were only appraised of this situation some 30 minutes into this new event, and the Captain called the doctor to the cockpit. (Yes, that is what it says - the passenger entered the cockpit!). By the time the doctor has reached the cockpit and spoken to the Captain, we must be looking at nearer 40 minutes, and DFW is less than an hour away.

There is now a conversation between the on-board passenger-doctor, and the ground-based physician on call for AA. The Captain finally takes advice from one or both of the doctors, and decides to continue to DFW. Whereas my running clock has left us with less than an hour to DFW, the legal submission now suggests there is still 90 minutes flight time. I confess I have a problem with their math.

Either way, five minutes after this, Brittany stops breathing and shows no pulse.

The failure of the medical equipment is a serious issue.
The choice not to divert the aircraft is much more open to debate.
Presumably AA will have a more accurate log of what happened when, particularly in respect of the timing of calls to their ground-based doctor.
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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7BOEING7
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:42 pm

It’s about 600 sm from ABQ to DFW so all other circumstances aside there are several closer opportunities to land at than continuing on to DFW — ELP, Lubbock, Amarillo — all with adequate runways/hospitals I’m guessing. The Drs on the ground probably determined for all intents and purposes she was dead or would be before they could get on the ground anywhere—especially if the equipment wasn’t improving the situation.
 
Flighty
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:47 pm

IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


We don't know enough about the doctor on board. Maybe he or she was trained and experienced in emergency medicine. And maybe he or she is a dermatologist or podiatrist who at best could relay observations to another doctor on the ground.


Nope, any board certified doctor onboard saying divert should be taken seriously. A doctor has authority to admit to hospital. It should be agreed that an airline captain follows that out of shared duty with the MD. I had no idea that was the case here. Devastating. Shame on AA and shame on the captain if that is the case. I mean it is bleeping ridiculous. A young woman unconscious, in shock dying. No divert? Consequences. Shame on them! What am I missing?
 
Jetty
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:53 pm

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
Let's see if I can summarise things;(...)

Those thing I took as most notable as well, up untill:

By the time the doctor has reached the cockpit and spoken to the Captain, we must be looking at nearer 40 minutes, and DFW is less than an hour away.


It is alleged that the doctor on the ground was contacted twice. The second time being 45 minutes before arrival, hence the first call must have been earlier than 40 minutes before arrival even if you take the alleged second time 45 minutes before arrival with a grain of salt. My educated (but far from certain) guess is that the first time they chose not to divert because the situation wasn't deemed serious enough (the doctor on board did advise emergency landing, but she still had pulse and was breathing), and the second time (after she lost pulse and stopped breathing) because DFW was just as quick. That would make sense with the timeline of events.
Last edited by Jetty on Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Flighty
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:01 am

Jetty, I certainly hope so because in my experience, highly reputable airlines like AA (and I mention delta thru personal experience on this) are willing to divert even if $250,000 saves 10 minutes for a needy passenger. It is part of their flight crew and dispatch professional philosophy as well. So it pains me to see these allegations, which are potentially out of context.
 
DC10LAXJFK
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:07 am

I was on this flight. A 767-300ER. I was in first on the right side of the plane, with the galley behind me. It was pretty traumatic to say the least, and I always assumed the woman had died, but had never heard until today.

I'll try and summarize based on memory. We got woken up with about 1 to 1-1/2 hours to go saying that we had a medical emergency on board and that we were diverting. Our expectation was that it was going to be quick, because the flight attendants were tearing through the cabin picking everything up, collected the i-pads, glasses, trash, all the lights were on. After that we just sat and waited. I was looking out the window and couldn't recognize anything. It was a desert, and I thought for some reason we were over Utah (still groggy from sleeping). More on the location below.

They brought the passenger to the galley and the doctor and other flight attendants were there. They all knew it was serious, as several flight attendants were crying so you could see they were emotional too. They handled the situation very professionally and kudos to AA on that.

Pilot then announced that based we were going to DFW directly (I assume it was for available airports and hospitals given how desolate it looked below). As we got closer, and began descent, she did go into cardiac arrest and again and the doctor was performing CPR through the entire landing. Once on the ground, they hightailed it directly to the gate, barely putting the brakes on. We sat as EMT's boarded, ran down the aisles and carrier the passenger off, and then her husband followed with the stuff. I believe they tried additional CPR once on the jetway because it was about 15 more minutes before they let us deplane. It was a very somber and quiet exit, very unusual.

When I got home I was curious about why we didn't divert, so I checked Flightaware. Not sure if that flight is still available. We came in and reached the coast on an incredibly southern route. We crossed Mexico, not California, and if I recall we were over New Mexico when the events really got serious, and it didn't look like there was anything close that we could have diverted to, which would explain why DFW was chosen given our altitude and location.

Hope this sheds some light on the dilemma the crew was facing about diverting or not.
 
maxholstemh1521
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:18 am

Flighty wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


We don't know enough about the doctor on board. Maybe he or she was trained and experienced in emergency medicine. And maybe he or she is a dermatologist or podiatrist who at best could relay observations to another doctor on the ground.


Nope, any board certified doctor onboard saying divert should be taken seriously. A doctor has authority to admit to hospital. It should be agreed that an airline captain follows that out of shared duty with the MD. I had no idea that was the case here. Devastating. Shame on AA and shame on the captain if that is the case. I mean it is bleeping ridiculous. A young woman unconscious, in shock dying. No divert? Consequences. Shame on them! What am I missing?


The doctors that airlines use have advanced training in aeromedical factors. It is regular occurence at airlines to have passengers passout at some point in flight. At a large airline like American, it is most likely a multiple time a day event. Most doctors on-board reccomend diversion, and it is because they do not see situations like that everyday. It is unfortunate what happend in this case, but situations like this happen sometimes.
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mikejepp
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:32 am

Flighty wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


We don't know enough about the doctor on board. Maybe he or she was trained and experienced in emergency medicine. And maybe he or she is a dermatologist or podiatrist who at best could relay observations to another doctor on the ground.


Nope, any board certified doctor onboard saying divert should be taken seriously. A doctor has authority to admit to hospital. It should be agreed that an airline captain follows that out of shared duty with the MD. I had no idea that was the case here. Devastating. Shame on AA and shame on the captain if that is the case. I mean it is bleeping ridiculous. A young woman unconscious, in shock dying. No divert? Consequences. Shame on them! What am I missing?


You're missing the fact that you weren't in the cockpit that day and have no idea to the factors involved. That makes you just a clueless monday morning quarterback. Shame on the captain? More like shame on you for making assumptions for something you are clueless about.
 
ikramerica
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:33 am

DC10LAXJFK wrote:
I was on this flight. A 767-300ER. I was in first on the right side of the plane, with the galley behind me. It was pretty traumatic to say the least, and I always assumed the woman had died, but had never heard until today.

I'll try and summarize based on memory. We got woken up with about 1 to 1-1/2 hours to go saying that we had a medical emergency on board and that we were diverting. Our expectation was that it was going to be quick, because the flight attendants were tearing through the cabin picking everything up, collected the i-pads, glasses, trash, all the lights were on. After that we just sat and waited. I was looking out the window and couldn't recognize anything. It was a desert, and I thought for some reason we were over Utah (still groggy from sleeping). More on the location below.

They brought the passenger to the galley and the doctor and other flight attendants were there. They all knew it was serious, as several flight attendants were crying so you could see they were emotional too. They handled the situation very professionally and kudos to AA on that.

Pilot then announced that based we were going to DFW directly (I assume it was for available airports and hospitals given how desolate it looked below). As we got closer, and began descent, she did go into cardiac arrest and again and the doctor was performing CPR through the entire landing. Once on the ground, they hightailed it directly to the gate, barely putting the brakes on. We sat as EMT's boarded, ran down the aisles and carrier the passenger off, and then her husband followed with the stuff. I believe they tried additional CPR once on the jetway because it was about 15 more minutes before they let us deplane. It was a very somber and quiet exit, very unusual.

When I got home I was curious about why we didn't divert, so I checked Flightaware. Not sure if that flight is still available. We came in and reached the coast on an incredibly southern route. We crossed Mexico, not California, and if I recall we were over New Mexico when the events really got serious, and it didn't look like there was anything close that we could have diverted to, which would explain why DFW was chosen given our altitude and location.

Hope this sheds some light on the dilemma the crew was facing about diverting or not.

US carriers usually overfly Mexico from Hawaii only when winds dictate it because it’s expensive to overfly vs hugging the border.

But desolate as it may be, El Paso is closer than DFW if you are down that way and has more than adequate hospitals available.
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PlanesNTrains
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:50 am

I have no insight as to what happened on board, but I can't see how an airline can turn over authority or even full discretion of care to an onboard doctor who is not affiliated with the airline, is an unknown commodity of sorts, and would likely not be liable if, in the course of diverting (for example), something else were to happen (separate passenger freaks out and dies of a heart attack due to the "trauma"). That's why the airlines have in place the medical referral system on the ground - to make that call for the airline. Now, I'm assuming that the airline can override the direction of the ground folks, but why would they unless/until something truly changed with the passengers status?

Someone up thread suggested that the equipment may have worked but due to the condition of the passenger it was of no use so didn't "function". We'll certainly be waiting to hear more about that (though we many never know for sure).

It is tragic, though. How many of us have traveled with a spouse? I can see how horrible it would be for the family as well as the crew. However, I can also see how they sort of backed into the situation through misunderstanding the severity of her condition,

Since nothing can bring her back, I truly hope that AA followed proper and reasonable procedures and that their equipment actually was functioning but of no use in this instance. If not, well, they'll definitely pay and will likely face a fine as well.
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
PlanesNTrains
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:57 am

In contrast, and just for info (not to compare), here's a WN flight that DID divert to ABQ and the passenger lived. I'm sure that'll be used as a comparison though there is likely very little in common between the two other than ABQ and the person living.

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/04/2 ... saved.html
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
itchief
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:59 am

hivue wrote:
itchief wrote:
AA made some large mistakes in judgement and with the equipment on-board the aircraft that failed to work.


The legal brief linked above tries to imply that the AED failed because it delivered no shock after 3 "attempts." The AED's declining to shock the victim is not an indication of failure. The victim may have been asystolic or in a rhythm that defibrillation could not have rectified.


Read the story, none of the medical equipment worked, even the blood pressure cuff failed.

Some other responses about a divert location leave out Abilene TX with Dyess AFB and Wichita Falls TX with Sheppard AFB, both 100+ miles closer than DFW.
 
D L X
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:00 am

Flighty wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


We don't know enough about the doctor on board. Maybe he or she was trained and experienced in emergency medicine. And maybe he or she is a dermatologist or podiatrist who at best could relay observations to another doctor on the ground.


Nope, any board certified doctor onboard saying divert should be taken seriously. A doctor has authority to admit to hospital. It should be agreed that an airline captain follows that out of shared duty with the MD. I had no idea that was the case here. Devastating. Shame on AA and shame on the captain if that is the case. I mean it is bleeping ridiculous. A young woman unconscious, in shock dying. No divert? Consequences. Shame on them! What am I missing?

Board certified? Is that known?

I didn’t notice any specialty mentioned.
 
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7BOEING7
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:11 am

itchief wrote:

Read the story, none of the medical equipment worked, even the blood pressure cuff failed.



If the heart isn’t pumping the blood pressure cuff won’t work
 
itchief
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:20 am

7BOEING7 wrote:
itchief wrote:

Read the story, none of the medical equipment worked, even the blood pressure cuff failed.



If the heart isn’t pumping the blood pressure cuff won’t work


"One blood pressure machine was broken and the other was giving an error message."

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/04/2 ... woman.html
 
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Blimpie
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:27 am

DC10LAXJFK wrote:

They brought the passenger to the galley and the doctor and other flight attendants were there. They all knew it was serious, as several flight attendants were crying so you could see they were emotional too. They handled the situation very professionally and kudos to AA on that.


That doesn't sound very professional to me at all. I would say that if anything, this would freak the hell out of the passengers. The last thing anyone wants to see in a crisis situation is the cabin crew in an emotional panic.
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Okie
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:34 am

Yes read the story in link 2
The times are shifted about 30 minutes between to the scheduled time of arrival the actual flight. I would take the times with a grain of salt.

********
The event started with vomiting diarrhea and light headedness. I have no idea what the doctor saw but that sounds pretty much like flu or food poisoning.
It was not until 30 minutes later that the other symptoms emerged.
That would put the flight less than an hour out of DFW maybe 30 minutes after the doctor conferred with the ground medical after the passengers condition worsened.

********

7BOEING7 wrote:
If the heart isn’t pumping the blood pressure cuff won’t work


Correct and the AED will not fire if there is not a reason to defib no matter how many times you try it.

********
I really feel sorry for the family involved here but there just a certain amount of risk involved when you cross the street.
People die at the hospital everyday when about every piece of equipment is availble.

Okie
 
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7BOEING7
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:36 am

itchief wrote:
7BOEING7 wrote:
itchief wrote:

Read the story, none of the medical equipment worked, even the blood pressure cuff failed.



If the heart isn’t pumping the blood pressure cuff won’t work


"One blood pressure machine was broken and the other was giving an error message."

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2018/04/2 ... woman.html


If it can’t read a pulse accurately it will show “EE”. It just means whatever pulse was there, if any, was not within readable parameters. It’s all automatic, this isn’t the manual type the nurse or doctor may use in his office.
 
Aptivaboy
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:42 am

I'm just really surprised about the AED not working. Where I work, they're checked regularly, as in every week at the least.
 
DC10LAXJFK
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:42 am

Did I say emotional panic? No. I said they were emotional. Those that were not assisting had to stand by and watch it happening and at the same time continue to perform their duties. You could tell it was taking an emotional toll on them. I would expect any serious medical emergency would when there's nothing they can do but wait it out until the plane lands.

I don't know why you would think the passengers would freak out. We all knew we had a medical emergency on board and that it was very serious because we could hear everything going on in the galley behind us.
 
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zeke
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:51 am

Aptivaboy wrote:
I'm just really surprised about the AED not working. Where I work, they're checked regularly, as in every week at the least.


AEDs only work on a heart that is beating, just with an electrical issue which can be corrected by shocking it.

The article says she had no pulse, an AED will not do anything as the heart is not beating. On TV you see them shocking people who have no pulse but that will not do much.

If there is no pulse CPR is required, not a AED.
Human rights lawyers are "ambulance chasers of the very worst kind.'" - Sky News
 
planecane
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:59 am

Aptivaboy wrote:
I'm just really surprised about the AED not working. Where I work, they're checked regularly, as in every week at the least.


As others have pointed out, not shocking and not working are two different things. It isn't like a TV show when a person flatlines and they shock them back to life. A defibrillator, is to get the heart out of an arrythmia. An AED is designed to determine if there is an arrythmia that shocking can fix. If not, it doesn't shock.

Looks like Zeke beat me to the punch so I second his response.
 
nikeherc
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:09 am

An AED will not fire on command. It evaluates the heart rhythm and decides when and if to shock the patient. The doctor may or may not be board certified in a relevant field. Doctors have admitting privileges at specific hospitals, if any. Not to be crass, but it sounds like this lady wasn’t going to make it under any circumstance. My sincere condolences to the family and best wishes for the passengers and crew on this flight.
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
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DocLightning
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:10 am

When someone that age dies, the autopsy is going to be key. It's possible she had an underlying heart issue, such as a conduction defect. These are rare, but every one and then a young person will drop dead without warning.

Although a DVT/PE is probably more likely, especially with the "I thought she was having a panic attack." The start of a pulmonary embolism can look just like that. And there is no amount of shocking that is going to fix a PE.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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D L X
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:15 am

It looks like the Fox News report took the lawyers’ story as fact. These are allegations, not facts (yet), and a complaint is written to lead the reader to a conclusion, not the truth.
 
planecane
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:16 am

DocLightning wrote:
When someone that age dies, the autopsy is going to be key. It's possible she had an underlying heart issue, such as a conduction defect. These are rare, but every one and then a young person will drop dead without warning.

Although a DVT/PE is probably more likely, especially with the "I thought she was having a panic attack." The start of a pulmonary embolism can look just like that. And there is no amount of shocking that is going to fix a PE.


There is also not a fast enough diversion to fix a PE. You need very fast medical attention. Sadly, I don't think this woman had a chance no matter what AA did. An aircraft is one of the 3 worst places to have a medical emergency. The other two being hiking/camping in the woods or driving a desolate highway with poor cell coverage.
 
jayunited
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:17 am

maxholstemh1521 wrote:
The doctors that airlines use have advanced training in aeromedical factors. It is regular occurence at airlines to have passengers passout at some point in flight. At a large airline like American, it is most likely a multiple time a day event. Most doctors on-board reccomend diversion, and it is because they do not see situations like that everyday. It is unfortunate what happend in this case, but situations like this happen sometimes.


Exactly... Medical emergency happen every day on airlines the size of the US3 and in most cases a doctor or nurse onboard will recommend a diversion but airlines have independent doctors on the ground that are highly trained to handle these situations. Just a few days ago UA had 10 medical diversions in one day which was a lot and in fact one passenger did not make it to the diversion airport they died onboard although they were not pronounced onboard they were pronounced on the jetway according to the internal report. As unfortunate as these things are they happen airlines are required to have working AED's onboard but just because the AED didn't shock the guy doesn't necessarily mean the AED malfunction these so called smart AED's analyze a person heart rhythm and decide if a shock is necessary or of a person should continue chess compressions instead. So before we jump to conclusions and state the AED was not working we first need to know if the AED detected a rhythm or a pulse in which case it wouldn't have delivered a shock especially if it was one of these smart AED's. So before we start blaming AA for continuing on to DFW and for the AED we need more facts.
 
D L X
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:18 am

DocLightning wrote:
When someone that age dies, the autopsy is going to be key. It's possible she had an underlying heart issue, such as a conduction defect. These are rare, but every one and then a young person will drop dead without warning.

Although a DVT/PE is probably more likely, especially with the "I thought she was having a panic attack." The start of a pulmonary embolism can look just like that. And there is no amount of shocking that is going to fix a PE.

Why diarrhea though?
 
777PHX
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:23 am

Interestingly, Brittany herself was a nurse.

People tend to forget New Mexico is the fifth biggest state. It's entirely possible that DFW made more sense geographically (with better medical facilities than ABQ) if they were in far northeastern NM.

It's also possible the doc on the ground saw otherwise healthy 25 year old and thought she had heartburn or indigestion and didn't think anything else of it. 99 times out of 100, he'd be correct.
 
JAGflyer
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:30 am

The medical professional onboard does not have the final say with regards to diversion as mentioned above. That lies with whichever company the airline contracts/contacts to handle their medical advise in-flight. The two common ones are MedLink/MedAir and StatMD. They are provided all the information about the flight and the patient prior to making a judgement call. The decision to divert is not easily made and in my experience (as a dispatcher) only made in cases where a) the patient has a history of having similar episodes/related serious medical conditions and b) there is significant risk of the condition worsening to a critical situation during the remainder of the flight. If the patient was 60+, I think the decision may of been different but again, I don't know the exact scenario. From what the article mentions, the fainting + loss of consciousness/vomiting/loss of bowels is not something I'd expect to get a diversion recommendation for. I've patched through calls of 60+ year olds with chest pain which don't result in diversion if that adds anything. While it's unfortunate this girl died, we don't have the full details of the person's pre-conditions or what exactly took place. American is responsible for the equipment onboard and if something like the blood pressure cuff wasn't working, that's an error on their part for which they cannot defer the blame. But it is not solely due to the blood pressure cuff failing to work that this woman died. In the US, it's normal for litigious people to try to sue everyone associated with an event. Look at how Boeing and Airbus get sued every time one of their aircraft crash even when the issue was not related to the aircraft itself!
If you flew today, thank a Flight Dispatcher!
 
Jetty
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:39 am

JAGflyer wrote:
The medical professional onboard does not have the final say with regards to diversion as mentioned above. That lies with whichever company the airline contracts/contacts to handle their medical advise in-flight.

The pilot has the final say, but he will undoubtedly rely on medical advise from the ground almost all the time.
 
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DUDEofJETS
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:39 am

Flighty wrote:
IPFreely wrote:
jetwet1 wrote:
However, a doctor on board saying divert should over rule a doctor on the ground saying carry on, sure AA will pass the buck here to the inflight medical service they use, but, come on, common sense says get this woman off the plane.


We don't know enough about the doctor on board. Maybe he or she was trained and experienced in emergency medicine. And maybe he or she is a dermatologist or podiatrist who at best could relay observations to another doctor on the ground.


Nope, any board certified doctor onboard saying divert should be taken seriously. A doctor has authority to admit to hospital. It should be agreed that an airline captain follows that out of shared duty with the MD. I had no idea that was the case here. Devastating. Shame on AA and shame on the captain if that is the case. I mean it is bleeping ridiculous. A young woman unconscious, in shock dying. No divert? Consequences. Shame on them! What am I missing?


Sorry, but no. First of all the pilot has no way to ascertain the qualifications of anyone on board who claims to be a Dr. The pilot does have to follow the direction of the Dr that is dispatched through the medical system that AA uses, and most likely that agreement has some waivers on whom is responsible due to the lack of information flow, if any. But again, just because someone on board calls themselves a dr, there is no way to prove what qualifications they have hence the pilot following directions of the Dr contacted through the normal system.
 
Jetty
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:47 am

DUDEofJETS wrote:
Sorry, but no. First of all the pilot has no way to ascertain the qualifications of anyone on board who claims to be a Dr. The pilot does have to follow the direction of the Dr that is dispatched through the medical system that AA uses, and most likely that agreement has some waivers on whom is responsible due to the lack of information flow, if any. But again, just because someone on board calls themselves a dr, there is no way to prove what qualifications they have hence the pilot following directions of the Dr contacted through the normal system.

If someone is making sense, claims to be an ER doctor and that the time in which the patient reaches a hospital is a matter of live or death then that should be enough. If someone would use this occurrence to claim to be a certain type of doctor qualified to assess the situation while he is not, then sue him afterwards. But I've never even heard of such a thing happening on a plane and it is ridiculously hypothetical to consider when a life is on the line.

Not saying the medical professional had the specific qualifications needed in this case, just to show you're wrong with your overly general statement. If someone is a doctor but has no specific qualification to judge the situation then it seems reasonable that someone on the ground who does is trusted more.
 
MSPNWA
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:52 am

Here's the FlightAware track. You can see the direct route to DFW. They packed it in quickly.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL ... /PHNL/KDFW

The lawsuit is filled with assumptions, and the timeline is so broad that it's nearly useless.
 
D L X
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Re: Family Suing AA Over Death of Passenger

Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:07 am

MSPNWA wrote:
Here's the FlightAware track. You can see the direct route to DFW. They packed it in quickly.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL ... /PHNL/KDFW

The lawsuit is filled with assumptions, and the timeline is so broad that it's nearly useless.

A complaint only need allege enough plausible facts to support a conclusion that the defendant is liable. They’ll have discovery to nail down the rest of the pertinent facts and test their veracity.

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