Monday, September 28, 2015

Are you ready for mid-air medical emergency ?

A medical emergency that strikes in mid-air is a scary prospect for any traveller, but it presents a particularly complex situation for physicians and other healthcare providers. In an instant, a doctor could go from nodding off to making medical, ethical and legal decisions that could represent the difference in a fellow passenger's life or death.

A new article in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine offers important advice for healthcare providers about how to handle just this situation. And it has valuable takeaways for everyone who flies — tips that could save your life.
The frequency of mid-air medical emergencies is likely underreported, the article warns. One study suggested that emergencies occur on one in every 604 flights, but there is no mandatory reporting system, so the frequency is likely higher. The most deadly in-flight emergency is cardiac arrest. While cardiac arrest represents only .3 percent of in-flight events, it is responsible for 86 per cent of deaths. And that's despite the mandatory presence of defibrillators, the most essential piece of medical equipment for treating cardiac arrest. For most medical emergencies, a doctor, nurse or EMT may have no equipment at all, almost no space and no assistance.
As such, it's critical for healthcare providers to plan ahead before a medical emergency occurs, according to the article's senior author, William J Brady, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine.
27/09/15 Bangalore Mirror
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