Re: In-flight medical emergencies (was Re: Cabin Depressurization)

Date:         10 Feb 2000 05:03:25 
From: (Colin Povey)
Organization: MindSpring Enterprises
References:   1 2 3 4
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A quick note: I am not a physician, but am a basic level Emergency
Medical Technician.

While on a Delta red-eye from LA to Tampa a couple of years ago, about
4:00AM, the pilot turned on the lights, and came on the PA, asking if
there was a physician or nurse aboard. When no one answered, I
identified myself to a flight attendant as an EMT, and asked if I
could help.

We had a woman aboard who had passed out three time in the last hour.
I assessed her condition, took some history, and determined that she
was probably just suffering from low blood sugar levels, as she hadn't
eaten in 48 hours, since she was suffering from nausea caused  by a
cold or the flu.. After confering with the pilot, we decided not to
divert, but to have paramedics meet the plane upon arrival.

On this aircraft, there were two medical kits: The flight attendents
had a limited one, with band aids, aspirin, motion sickness pills,
etc. The pilot had a more sophisticated one under his control, which
contained a stethoscope, bp cuff, and about 10-15 drugs, mostly
cardiac I believe (basic EMT's don't dispense drugs), but I am not
sure of exactly what was in the kit.

Delta was not as generous as United was to the passenger below,
mailing me (spelling my name wrong and calling me a MD!) a coupon for
$50 my next Delta flight.