Background Worldwide, 2.75 billion passengers fly on commercial airlines annually. When in-flight medical emergencies occur, access to care is limited. We describe in-flight medical emergencies and the outcomes of these events. Methods We reviewed records of in-flight medical emergency calls from five domestic and international airlines to a physician-directed medical communications center from January 1, 2008, through October 31, 2010. We characterized the most common medical problems and the type of on-board assistance rendered. We determined the incidence of and factors associated with unscheduled aircraft diversion, transport to a hospital, and hospital admission, and we determined the incidence of death. Results There were 11,920 in-flight medical emergencies resulting in calls to the center (1 medical emergency per 604 flights). The most common problems were syncope or presyncope (37.4% of cases), respiratory symptoms (12.1%), and nausea or vomiting (9.5%). Physician passengers provided medical assistance in 48.1% of in-flight medical emergencies, and aircraft diversion occurred in 7.3%. Of 10,914 patients for whom postflight follow-up data were available, 25.8% were transported to a hospital by emergency-medical-service personnel, 8.6% were admitted, and 0.3% died. The most common triggers for admission were possible stroke (odds ratio, 3.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.88 to 6.03), respiratory symptoms (odds ratio, 2.13; 95% CI, 1.48 to 3.06), and cardiac symptoms (odds ratio, 1.95; 95% CI, 1.37 to 2.77). Conclusions Most in-flight medical emergencies were related to syncope, respiratory symptoms, or gastrointestinal symptoms, and a physician was frequently the responding medical volunteer. Few in-flight medical emergencies resulted in diversion of aircraft or death; one fourth of passengers who had an in-flight medical emergency underwent additional evaluation in a hospital. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health.).
- Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
- Published about 2 years ago
In recent years, the U.S. commercial airline industry has achieved unprecedented levels of safety, with the statistical risk associated with U.S. commercial aviation falling to 0.003 fatalities per 100 million passengers. But decades of research on organizational learning show that success often breeds complacency and failure inspires improvement. With accidents as rare events, can the airline industry continue safety advancements? This question is complicated by the complex system in which the industry operates where chance combinations of multiple factors contribute to what are largely probabilistic (rather than deterministic) outcomes. Thus, some apparent successes are realized because of good fortune rather than good processes, and this research intends to bring attention to these events, the near-misses. The processes that create these near-misses could pose a threat if multiple contributing factors combine in adverse ways without the intervention of good fortune. Yet, near-misses (if recognized as such) can, theoretically, offer a mechanism for continuing safety improvements, above and beyond learning gleaned from observable failure. We test whether or not this learning is apparent in the airline industry. Using data from 1990 to 2007, fixed effects Poisson regressions show that airlines learn from accidents (their own and others), and from one category of near-misses-those where the possible dangers are salient. Unfortunately, airlines do not improve following near-miss incidents when the focal event has no clear warnings of significant danger. Therefore, while airlines need to and can learn from certain near-misses, we conclude with recommendations for improving airline learning from all near-misses.
We conducted this study to characterize in-flight pediatric fatalities onboard commercial airline flights worldwide and identify patterns that would have been unnoticed through single case analysis of these relative rare events.
This study investigates the impact of the aggregate and individual dimensions of environmental performance (EP) on financial performance (FP), based on a dataset covering the travel and tourism industry (airlines, casinos, hotels, and restaurants) across different economic regions over the period 2003-2014. The results reveal that EP positively affects the FP in the hotel industry when aggregate EP is used. When individual dimensions of EP are considered, resource reduction is found to positively (negatively) affect the performance in the hotel (airline) industry, while product innovation positively affects the performance in the restaurant industry. Hence, the trade-off effect seems to be dominant in the airline industry, and the ‘heterogeneous resources and reputation-building’ hypothesis is evident in both the hotel and restaurant industries. In addition, in general, the findings support the positive moderating effect of slack resources on the relationship between the individual dimensions of EP and FP in the travel and tourism industry, and, hence, are supportive of the slack resources hypothesis. These effects, however, vary depending on the travel and tourism industry under investigation.
More than 3 billion passengers are transported every year on commercial airline flights worldwide, many of whom are children. The incidence of in-flight medical events (IFMEs) affecting children is largely unknown. This study seeks to characterize pediatric IFMEs, with particular focus on in-flight injuries (IFIs).
- Journal of business continuity & emergency planning
- Published almost 2 years ago
Business continuity is defined as the capability of the organisation to continue delivery of products or services at acceptable predefined levels following a disruptive incident. Business continuity is fast evolving to become a critical and strategic decision for any organisation. Transportation in general, and airlines in particular, is a unique sector with a specialised set of requirements, challenges and opportunities. Business continuity in the airline sector is a concept that is generally overlooked by the airline managements. This paper reviews different risks related to airline processes and will also propose solutions to these risks based on experiences and good industry practices.
- Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis
- Published over 2 years ago
We present a risk analysis undertaken to mitigate problems in relation to the unintended deployment of slides under normal operations within a commercial airline. This type of incident entails relevant costs for the airline industry. After assessing the likelihood and severity of its consequences, we conclude that such risks need to be managed. We then evaluate the effectiveness of various countermeasures, describing and justifying the chosen ones. We also discuss several issues faced when implementing and communicating the proposed measures, thus fully illustrating the risk analysis process.
Medical Guidelines for Airline Travel provide information that enables healthcare providers to properly advise patients who plan to travel by air. Treating physicians should advise patients in need of special services to contact the airline well before travel to find out if the required services will be available. Ensuring the required services are available throughout a journey can be challenging, especially when different airlines and aircraft types are involved. For example, airlines carry a limited supply of oxygen for use in the event of an unexpected in-flight emergency; however, this supply is not intended for use by passengers needing supplemental oxygen. Arrangements must be made in advance with the airline. Therefore, early contact with the airline is helpful. Thibeault C, Evans AD. AsMA medical guidelines for air travel: airline special services. Aerosp Med Hum Perform. 2015; 86(7):657-658.
It is unusual for pulmonologists to be familiar with the European and US regulations governing the administration of oxygen during air travel and each airline’s policy in this respect. This lack of knowledge is in large part due to the scarcity of articles addressing this matter in specialized journals and the noticeably limited information provided by airlines on their websites. In this article we examine the regulations, the policies of some airlines and practical aspects that must be taken into account, so that the questions of a patient who may need to use oxygen during a flight may be answered satisfactorily.
Medical emergencies often occur on commercial airline flights, but valid data on their causes and consequences are rare. Therefore, it is unclear what emergency medical equipment is necessary. Although a minimum standard for medical equipment is defined in regulations, additional material is not standardized and may vary significantly between different airlines.