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In-flight medical emergencies: response of anaesthetists who were passengers on commercial flights

Booth, M.G., Quasim, I., and Kinsella, J. (1999) In-flight medical emergencies: response of anaesthetists who were passengers on commercial flights. European Journal of Anaesthesiology, 16 (12). pp. 840-841. ISSN 0265-0215 (doi:10.1046/j.1365-2346.1999.00598.x)

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Abstract

All consultants and trainees in anaesthesia in a large teaching hospital were surveyed. Details of the number of flights per year and details of any medical emergencies in which they had been involved were recorded. The mean number of flights per year was 7.1 domestic and 3.4 international. Of the 45 anaesthetists surveyed, 14 had dealt with emergencies in flight, four had dealt with more than one. The minor emergencies (12) included transient ischaemic attacks, abdominal pain and otitis media. The seven serious events included seizures, angina, hypoglycaemic coma, respiratory arrest and two fatal cardiac arrests. No flights were diverted. On only two occasions were their medical qualifications checked. Requests for documentation were unusual. On several occasions the equipment which was available was inadequate. All doctors that responded were insured in the UK and most stated that they would assist Americans on American airlines. Medical emergencies were more likely on long haul flights.

Item Type:Article
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kinsella, Prof John
Authors: Booth, M.G., Quasim, I., and Kinsella, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine
Journal Name:European Journal of Anaesthesiology
ISSN:0265-0215

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