How safe are you if you suffer a medical event during a flight? New study has the answer

A person has a one in 400 chance of suffering a medical emergency while on a plane, according to new research.

Critical care doctor Catherine Epstein analysed 13 months of in-flight emergency medical data for nearly 132,000 domestic and international flights on a leading Australian airline between 2015 and 2016 to determine the likelihood of a medical emergency occurring.

Dr Epstein, a senior resident medical officer at Sydney's Westmead Hospital, found an average of 284 medical events a month, making the in-flight probability of a "medical event" about one in 400.

The most common severe in-flight medical emergencies were loss of consciousness (36 per cent) and cardiovascular events (12 per cent).

Most events were not considered severe or life-threatening.

Of all medical incidents, only 24 led to flight diversions with 54 per cent of these diversions attributed to cardiac problems.

Neurological causes such as seizure or suspected stroke caused 17 per cent of diversions.

"The majority of in-flight medical incidents are not life-threatening and may be managed with simple measures," Dr Epstein said.

While it may seem like planes would be the worst place to be to loose consciousness or go into cardiac arrest, they are actually one of the safest, according to Dr Epstein.

Critical care experts say airline medical kits include a range of life-saving equipments and medications.

"You are probably more safe than you would be if you were on the street and had a heart attack than if you were on a plane and had a heart attack. There is a defibrillator right there, there's crew that are trained in first aid, CPR," Dr Epstein said.

"On top of that, maybe there is a doctor on board to help out."

The study was presented at the annual scientific meeting of the Australia and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists in Sydney on Friday.

Plane



Cop who punched 10-week-old son with such force it pulped his liver jailed for nine years

A Queensland police officer who fatally punched his 10-week-old son with such force it pulped his liver has been sentenced to nine years' jail.

Colin David Randall was due to go on trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court in April for the murder of his child, but pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter just three days earlier.

Justice Peter Davis delivered a scathing assessment of the 41-year-old in sentencing him on Friday, saying he had breached the duty he had to care for his son in the "most horrible and vile way".

Source: istock.com


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Raw video: Heroic US cop saves life of unresponsive baby in dramatic roadside rescue

A police officer in the state of Florida had to think quickly when he was flagged down by a mother whose baby was unresponsive.

Deputy Jeremie Nix was on his way home from his shift when he was flagged down by a motorist in Marion County on Wednesday (Thursday, NZT).

He turned around the panicked woman handed over her son, Kingston, who was unresponsive.

After a check of his condition, Deputy Nix decided that he didn't have time to wait for medics to arrive, and took matters into his own hands, rushing the infant to the nearby Ocala Regional Medical Centre.

Doctors were able to treat the three-month-old Kingston and the Marion County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook today that he had made a full recovery and left hospital.