Crew members and first responders were unable to save the life of a 48-year-old American Airlines passenger who experienced a medical emergency in the plane’s restroom.
A 48-year-old woman died shortly after being carried from an American Airlines flight by EMTs at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP). The woman reportedly lost consciousness in the lavatory during the flight from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW).
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Texas woman identified as Theresa Hines was discovered unconscious in the plane’s restroom after suffering an unknown medical emergency. Paramedics met the aircraft as soon as it landed, but first responders and medical workers on hand were unable to revive the stricken passenger.
“We are deeply saddened by this event and our thoughts and prayers go out to our passenger’s loved ones,” American Airlines officials told the newspaper in a statement. “We’re grateful for the response of our highly trained flight attendants and our customers who assisted our passenger until first responders arrived.”
The effort to save the ailing passenger’s life created a controversy of its own, with several media outlets questioning the paramedics’ decision to carry the unconscious passenger from the back of the plane to the jetway while she was in a state of partial undress. According to Fox News, the passenger was described as wearing “only a shirt and underwear” as paramedics “dragged her down the aisle.“
“The EMT was out of line,” passenger Art Endress told reporters. “The flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on her.”
MSP spokesperson Patrick Hogan, however, defended emergency workers indicating to People that modesty necessarily took a backseat to trying to save the passenger’s life.
“They radioed ahead and we had somebody at the gate to meet the plane when it arrived,” Hogan told the magazine. “When we boarded, the patient was in the rear of the plane and our effort was focused on getting her out and onto the jet bridge. If she were conscious we could have used an aisle chair, which is like a wheelchair, but we used a device that first responders all over the country use when you’re dealing with someone in a narrow space.”