in-flight emergencies

23 Aug

Some interesting info from a couple ACEP News articles:

YOU TOO, MAY BE CALLED TO HELP ON YOUR NEXT FLIGHT:

Rare, but can happen:

  • one report: 1 in-flight emergency per 11,000 passengers
  • another data set: ~16 emergencies per million passengers (0.0016%)
    • 31% resolved issue before landing
    • ~1/3 of the rest were taken to a hospital ED, and half of those were discharged

On board assistance provided by:

  • physicians 48%
  • nurses 20%
  • EMS providers 4.4%
  • other health care professionals 3.7%

 

ITS OKAY TO HELP:

“The 1998 Aviation Safety Medical Assistance Act includes a Good Samaritan provision, protecting passengers from liability other than liability for gross negligence or willful misconduct”

“Volunteers must be “medically qualified,” render care in good faith, and receive no monetary compensation to be protected under this Act.” (so don’t take that first class upgrade)

 

WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO WORK WITH?

Aside from your wits, you have your in-flight medical kit (hopefully), which includes:

Medications

  • Epinephrine 1:1,000
  • Antihistamine, injectable (inj.)
  • Dextrose 50%, inj. 50 mL (or equivalent)
  • Nitroglycerin tablets or spray 
  • Major analgesic, inj. or oral
  • Sedative anticonvulsant, inj.
  • Antiemetic, inj. 
  • Bronchial dilator inhaler 
  • Atropine, inj. 
  • Corticosteroid, inj. 
  • Diuretic, inj. 
  • Medication for postpartum bleeding 
  • Normal saline 
  • Acetylsalicylic acid for oral use 
  • Oral beta-blocker 
  • Epinephrine 1:10,000 
  • List of medications: generic name plus trade name if indicated on the item

Equipment

  • Stethoscope 
  • Sphygmomanometer (BP cuff)
  • Airways, oropharyngeal 
  • Syringes 
  • Needles 
  • IV catheters 
  • Antiseptic wipes 
  • Gloves 
  • Sharps disposal box 
  • Urinary catheter 
  • Intravenous fluid system 
  • Venous tourniquet 
  • Sponge gauze 
  • Tape adhesive 
  • Surgical mask 
  • Flashlight and batteries 
  • Thermometer (nonmercury) 
  • Emergency tracheal catheter 
  • Umbilical cord clamp 
  • Basic life support cards 
  • Advanced life support cards

“While most domestic airlines carry this kit, there are no international regulations requiring the complete kit to be available.”

 

References: acep news stats article; equip reference; picture

 

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  1. WWW.DINFOBLOG.NET » Handling In-Flight Emergencies - September 2, 2013

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  2. Deal with in-flight emergency | WWW.GETONBOARDBC.COM - September 18, 2013

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