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Medical Emergency onboard at the gate protocol

Medical Emergency onboard at the gate protocol

Old Jul 10, 15, 11:45 am
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Medical Emergency onboard at the gate protocol

Yesterday, on AM MEX/EZE, right after an on-time door closure, I saw a flight attendant walking quickly with an oxygen tank from the forward galley to somewhere in the nether reaches of the plane. (I was in Row 2.) Doors were then disarmed and at least 2L was reopened. After a few minutes, an "Is there a doctor onboard" announcement occurred. After just over an hour, another announcement that the ill passenger has been removed by ambulance and now we need to remove her luggage from the aircraft" announcement occurred. (An aft door must have been opened, but from row 2, one was just hoping for a beverage service during this delay, which never occurred.)

I was rather surprised that the immediate reaction was not for onsite airport medical personnel to come onboard. Maybe initially she didn't seem "that ill." Well, she seemed ill enough for immediate oxygen. Maybe the nearest medical personnel were too far away. Maybe the airport isn't well-equipped.

In any event, I was glad to have an at-the-gate delay of about 75 minutes instead of a diversion to some who-knows-where airport where they've never seen a 787.
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Old Jul 10, 15, 7:40 pm
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It took them nearly one hour to remove the ill passenger? Sounds quite long..
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Old Jul 10, 15, 9:32 pm
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I am sure beverage service to F class passengers is foremost on the crew's minds during a medical situation.
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Old Jul 10, 15, 9:40 pm
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When a DL EU-USA flight did a medical diversion to an airport in Canada, after the patient was off the aircraft (taken by paramedics into the terminal via the jetway), FAs did serve a round of beverages: whatever we wanted in business class and a round of water in coach. At that point, only the purser (and the doctor who had been taking care of the person and helping to decide whether to divert) was occupied with paperwork. The pilots needed to file a new flight plan and see the right amount of fuel added. The situation was complicated by the fact that the ill passenger, who was traveling along, was from a developing country and did not have a visa for Canada. Her bags were removed from the aircraft. Overall, we were on the ground a bit over an hour, in fact maybe about 75 minutes.
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Old Jul 10, 15, 10:16 pm
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Originally Posted by BJM View Post
I am sure beverage service to F class passengers is foremost on the crew's minds during a medical situation.
My thoughts as well. To be fair though, I am not sure OP was being serious when she mentioned the lack of beverage service.
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Old Jul 10, 15, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
Maybe initially she didn't seem "that ill." Well, she seemed ill enough for immediate oxygen.
Or, perhaps the cabin crewmember simply brought the oxygen "just in case" it was needed.
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Old Jul 10, 15, 10:57 pm
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Originally Posted by NauticalWheeler View Post
My thoughts as well. To be fair though, I am not sure OP was being serious when she mentioned the lack of beverage service.
OP is a he.
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Old Jul 10, 15, 11:11 pm
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Originally Posted by zerolife View Post
It took them nearly one hour to remove the ill passenger? Sounds quite long..
At MEX? Sounds spectacularly fast to me.
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Old Jul 11, 15, 12:42 am
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Originally Posted by BJM View Post
I am sure beverage service to F class passengers is foremost on the crew's minds during a medical situation.
When it takes an hour to remove one person while sitting at the gate? Nope, FA laziness.
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Old Jul 11, 15, 4:58 am
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
When it takes an hour to remove one person while sitting at the gate? Nope, FA laziness.
Was probably the patient arguing that it was "just a funny moment" and thinking that they would quickly get better enough to be able to continue flying.
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Old Jul 11, 15, 6:05 am
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This is the kind of incident you just need to take on the chin. One day that passenger may be you or a loved one that you're travelling with.
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Old Jul 11, 15, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by rumbataz View Post
This is the kind of incident you just need to take on the chin. One day that passenger may be you or a loved one that you're travelling with.
Oh, I was thrilled that there was no emergency inflight. My real point here (for those who might not have found it obvious) is the time it took to get outside help. One would think that at the gate, with the door open isn't the time to call for a doctor when airport emergency personnel should be there. Perhaps an FA was providing first aid. Perhaps not.
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Old Jul 11, 15, 9:48 am
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Be thankful that you weren't mid air and that you weren't the doctor dealing with the emergency. I can tell you right away that :

1. You really are on your own up there
2. There's f*** all you can do with the onboard first aid kit in a true emergency
3. If we're flying we're probably just trying to get away from our jobs and have a vacation
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Old Jul 11, 15, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
..I was rather surprised that the immediate reaction was not for onsite airport medical personnel to come onboard <snip> I was glad to have an at-the-gate delay of about 75 minutes instead of a diversion to some who-knows-where airport where they've never seen a 787.
Maybe the airport folks have seen a 787 inside and knew how terrible it was ... and hence did not want to board it ?
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Old Jul 11, 15, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K View Post
I was rather surprised that the immediate reaction was not for onsite airport medical personnel to come onboard. Maybe initially she didn't seem "that ill." Well, she seemed ill enough for immediate oxygen. Maybe the nearest medical personnel were too far away. Maybe the airport isn't well-equipped.
How do you know they didn't call for medical personnel on the ground simultaneously with onboard the plane?

As a physician, I appreciate their efforts to obtain the fastest qualified people to find help for the passenger. Give the paucity of facts related to this passenger's specific health condition, we can only speculate on the specific medical needs they had.
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