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Are You Prepared To Handle In-Flight Medical Emergencies? – Global Aerospace Aviation Insurance


Few issues are as alarming to passengers and concerning to crew members as an in-flight medical emergency. With no way to get assistance from first responders while airborne, flight crews must be capable of delivering emergency care until the aircraft can land safely and first responders have arrived.

As with any aspect of aviation, handling an in-flight medical emergency—affecting passengers or crew members—requires knowledge and preparation.

CPR training for medical emergency

In-Flight Health Crises: Preparation and Training Are Essential

Every medical emergency is unique and affected by many factors, such as the person’s age and overall health, the medical issue and proximity to an airport and first responders. However, the actions below are useful in preparing for and addressing any health crisis.

  • Obtain education on medical emergency management. Every crew member should understand how to respond to a health crisis. Having simple first aid skills is helpful, but more advanced training can increase the crew’s competence and confidence.
  • Train regularly for in-flight medical emergencies. Pilots are familiar with the “startle response” that occurs if they lose control of the aircraft. Flight crews that haven’t practiced responding to various health crisis scenarios can have a similar response. Training on what to do if, for example, someone suddenly loses consciousness can help crew members respond immediately and correctly to an incident.
  • Confirm that medical supplies are onboard before every flight. The supplies that may be needed vary based on the flight destination and duration, number of passengers and other factors. But a flight crew member must ensure that the required medical devices and materials are onboard. This may include supplies for addressing cardiac emergencies, airway and ventilation support, IV administration, allergic reactions and anaphylaxis, diabetic emergencies, laceration care and other medical emergencies.
  • Develop escalation thresholds. In…


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