Date: 18 Jan 2000 05:24:23 From: "Grant Lynde" <email@example.com> Organization: EarthLink Network, Inc. References: 1 2 3 Followups: 1 2
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Hugh Dickson wrote in message ... >> The O2 is there for people having heart >> attacks or difficulty breathing or some other problem that O2 will >> help. That is, it's there for an individual emergency, not an >> aircraft emergency. > >Often used for "white knuckle" pax. "Placebo"? Also used as a >"walkaround" bottle. Note nylon strap attached to some bottles >with "two turns of one inch masking tape". The O2 bottle is indeed used for passengers having breathing difficulties. I was on an international flight recently where a person on the plane with a history of severe asthma was having an attack triggered by a cold, exacerbated by the low PaO2 provided by an airplane at altitude. The medical kit on the airplane (a UA 777)consisted of a cheap stethescope (I had mine), a bp cuff, some bandages, and subcutaneous epinepherine (which would only be useful for a bee sting or someone with an anaplalactic allergic reaction). All I could do was give this person some O2, ask the FA's to ask the pilots to descend altitude to increase the FiO2, and expedite the approach into IAD. I was horrified by my inability to do much more than hold this person's hand and reassure her!!! Her blood O2 saturation on the ground with the O2 was 88% (for non-medical types, normal is >96%, 94% if you're a old and are a heavy smoker. 88% buys an admission to the hospital with continuous medical observation.) I am appauled that any airplane, especially international, lacks the ability to provide licenced physicians with even basic medications to treat inflight emergencies. On an up note, UA was extremely appreciative and acknowledged my intervention very appropriately. I wrote a letter back to the medical director who informed me that they are currently upgrading their medical equipment on all their planes to be able to provide ACLS support for persons in need (ACLS stands for Advanced Cardiac Life Support which consists of the abiltity to perform CPR + shock someone and provide the appropriate medications for someone who is suffering a heart attack or other life-threatening situations which would compromise one's ability to breathe). All-in-all, I don't think I will ever fly again without my trusty ACLS drugs and intubation equipment.