How Often Do Medical Emergencies Occur on Flights?

At Pajamas Media Dalrymple looks at a recent study on in-flight medical emergencies:

The presence of a physician on board (as there was in nearly half of all flights), or at least of one who came forward to give assistance, made it more likely that an aircraft would be diverted to the nearest airport. Oddly enough, the patient was no more likely to be hospitalized on arrival after assistance by a doctor than when there was no doctor on board, suggesting that doctors on board had either cured their patients by the time of landing, or tended to overestimate the seriousness of the cases. Oddly enough, passengers who were assisted by flight attendants were considerably less likely to cause the aircraft to divert or to be hospitalised on arrival. The authors do not try to explain and make no comment on this.

One thought on “How Often Do Medical Emergencies Occur on Flights?

  1. Jean

    I suffered a DVT which was almost certainly caused by a contraceptive pill prescribed by a South African doctor. It was a brand which had been withdrawn in the UK due to an increased DVT risk. The clot ended up in my lung, but I had been swimming and thought I just had very bad cramp. It happened on Saturday night at a poolside barbecue and I spent Sunday feeling very bruised and sore. The next night I flew back to the UK, and on the flight the pain got worse, such that on arrival at Heathrow I was taken off in an ambulance. There was no doctor on board, and although the flight attendants suspected a DVT and I asked for an aspirin to thin my blood they said they were not allowed to give me one. Presumably this was for ‘health and safety’ reasons. At the hospital I explained my theory about the contraceptives, but each doctor I saw looked at my notes and sang the ‘long-haul flight’ song. No doubt I’m now one of those statistics.

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