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Do airlines keep a list of potential organ donees in need of priority for a seat?

Do airlines keep a list of potential organ donees in need of priority for a seat?

Old Jun 29, 18, 10:59 am
  #16  
 
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I highly recommend that the friend consider getting a membership in MedJet Assist! It is only a few hundred dollars but if/when he/she can be admitted to a hospital close to home they should be able to arrange private jet service to get him/her to whichever transplant center has the organ(s).

There are other emergency medical transport companies that offer memberships as well.

But I would make sure that being on a transplant list is not an exclusion for membership. Just trying to provide additional suggestions for easy transport.
I may be wrong but I thought that patients on a transplant list would have access to immediate air transportation when/if the need should arise.
This may be a long shot but I would investigate whether or not they would do this for a known transplant patient on the registry.

Again, I hope the friend is able to have a successful outcome. Prayers with him/her!!
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Old Jun 29, 18, 12:31 pm
  #17  
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Originally Posted by sweetsleep View Post
I highly recommend that the friend consider getting a membership in MedJet Assist! It is only a few hundred dollars but if/when he/she can be admitted to a hospital close to home they should be able to arrange private jet service to get him/her to whichever transplant center has the organ(s).
Thank you very much. I'll pass this along.
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Old Jun 29, 18, 5:42 pm
  #18  
 
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Greetings. I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but here it goes. I have a friend who needs an organ transplant. His life depends on it. He's now on call with Washington University in St. Louis for a possible transplant, if one becomes available.

If he gets the call, he will need to race to St. Louis. As get there ASAP or someone else gets the organ. I'm helping him with flight information.

My question to the experts here is do airlines keep a list for someone in my friend's situation? He's not asking for any special fare -- he only needs to get on the next available flight if he gets the call. If the flight is oversold, it sure would be nice if the check-in agents see that he has maximum priority to get a seat.

Anyone have ideas on this? Thanks.
Why wouldn't you fly private in this circumstance?
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Old Jun 30, 18, 12:35 pm
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If he's in based in OAK he should also look at Jetsuite as an option, since they have a base there and might be more likely to have a plane available without repositioning and won't run the risk of SFO flow control delays.
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Old Jun 30, 18, 2:19 pm
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Originally Posted by sweetsleep View Post
I highly recommend that the friend consider getting a membership in MedJet Assist! It is only a few hundred dollars but if/when he/she can be admitted to a hospital close to home they should be able to arrange private jet service to get him/her to whichever transplant center has the organ(s).

There are other emergency medical transport companies that offer memberships as well.
Again, this is an idea that sounds good, but in implementation isn't practical. Roughly 4 hours flying time Oakland to St. Louis, say the hospital says be here in 8 hours or no transplant (and 8 hours is often generous, IME, 6 is more common). Getting admitted to local hospital, even with prior arrangement, minimum 1 hour. Getting local hospital in contact with jet service, getting jet available, flight plan arranged, patient taken via ambulance to airport (has to be ambulance, because if you're not "sick enough" for ambulance, can't see MedJet Assist or insurance company agreeing you're sick enough for their services) - best case 2 hours. So 3 hours minimum before you're on a plane, 4 hours in the air + ground travel to the hospital. What about if there's weather, or the airport is backed up?

Not here to be a pessimist, here to help explain the situation. I did the paperwork, made phone calls, etc. for probably 100+ transplant or donor situations - heart, heart-lung, liver, kidney, multi-organ. From the moment the donor family signs the consent forms, there's a clock ticking to get those organs into the recipient. Different organs have different time limits, but the less time the organ is "out" the better the chance of survival.

And how serious do the medical team take the situation? We once had the CHP pick up our lead transplant surgeon from a football game and get him to a helipad for a flight to the hospital to make sure he was in the OR, ready to operate, when a heart arrived for our patient - and that was a 50 mile trip.
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Old Jun 30, 18, 2:52 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
If the flight is oversold, it sure would be nice if the check-in agents see that he has maximum priority to get a seat.
What you have asked is not practical and legal.

Airlines have established boarding priority as required by 14 CFR 250.3. Asking airlines to override its published boarding priority basically means asking the airlines to disregard DOT regulations.

While personally, I would give up my seat for such medical emergency (so I could get compensated), hoping airlines to do something would be a no go.

In this situation, pleading to your fellow passengers may result a better outcome, providing you indeed have a confirmed ticket on the flight.
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Old Jun 30, 18, 3:01 pm
  #22  
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OP's question points to not having done the basic research.

There is only one non-stop per day. It is on WN and departs at 9:30 AM from OAK. Flight time is 3:45. Everything else involves a connection and the best connections all have travel time hovering around 6 hours.

I would worry much less about whether a seat can be found than whether, under the best of circumstances, it is possible to make it from home in Oakland (or wherever he lives) to the hospital in St. Louis and to do so in enough time to be prepped and ready for surgery. Basic calculations suggest that 6 hours even if there is a private charter standing by, suggest that this won't work.

Aren't there social workers and other logistics people at the hospital who have solid adice to give on this issue?
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Old Jun 30, 18, 5:51 pm
  #23  
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Originally Posted by garykung View Post
In this situation, pleading to your fellow passengers may result a better outcome, providing you indeed have a confirmed ticket on the flight.
Yes, I didn't say this to my friend, but I think he would make that plea in the gate area, explaining why he desperately needs to be on the flight. Maybe the gate agent would help him with that and make an announcement. My faith in humanity is such that I believe at least one person would yield their seat.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Yes, I didn't say this to my friend, but I think he would make that plea in the gate area, explaining why he desperately needs to be on the flight. Maybe the gate agent would help him with that and make an announcement. My faith in humanity is such that I believe at least one person would yield their seat.
Keep in mind - airlines have no obligation to offload anyone, even willingly, for a standby passenger. So to plea the case, your friend must have a confirmed seat on the flight.

Sorry to say - assuming everything working for your friend's favor, law is still the last obstacle. Keep in mind - law does not only protect the needed, but also the general public.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 7:05 am
  #25  
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Section 250.3 only deals with the order in which passengers are IDB, not whether a carrier may IDB someone. While GA's don't make these decisions, a carrier could choose to IDB a passenger in order to create space for another passengers. It is the selection of the IDB passenger which is covered by Section 250.3.

Carriers IDB (or at least seek volunteers) for many reasons much less serious than an imminent medical need. But, the bottom line is that it is impractical, particularly something where the viability of a transplant is at stake:

As noted, only 1 flight at 3:45 hours. Can't get to the gate in the first place. WN says it does not oversell.

Just take out a piece of paper and list out the steps here and ask yourself how a person sitting at home in OAK who receives a phone call telling him to be prepped and ready for surgery in 6 hours does that. Even if the flight times work, there are no delays and plenty of seats.

It doesn't, so I would eliminate this option.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 11:15 am
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Just take out a piece of paper and list out the steps here and ask yourself how a person sitting at home in OAK who receives a phone call telling him to be prepped and ready for surgery in 6 hours does that. Even if the flight times work, there are no delays and plenty of seats.

It doesn't, so I would eliminate this option.
Wash U. is has approved his plan to stay at home while he waits. I'm not sure, but I suspect that he would potentially get the call with a brain dead patient (more time).
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Old Jul 1, 18, 3:53 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Wash U. is has approved his plan to stay at home while he waits. I'm not sure, but I suspect that he would potentially get the call with a brain dead patient (more time).
Yes, that would help.

I agree that moving to be near the hospital where the transplant is likely to occur is impractical. My neighbor across the street was on a transplant list for a heart for nearly a year. In his case, it was at a nearby hospital and he had to remain very close to home during the wait. (He got a new heart last year- I marvel every time I see him out mowing his lawn.)

I wish your friend well. Please keep us posted.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 5:44 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
While GA's don't make these decisions, a carrier could choose to IDB a passenger in order to create space for another passengers.
I don't see how a carrier will pay $1,350 to IDB a confirmed passenger for OP. However - I can see if OP's friend is willing to pay that $1,350, then the carrier will IDB a passenger for the seat.

Beside - even OP's friend has a legitimate need, it is still not fair to the pax who eventually get IDBed even with compensation.
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Old Jul 1, 18, 8:44 pm
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Originally Posted by dhuey View Post
Wash U. is has approved his plan to stay at home while he waits. I'm not sure, but I suspect that he would potentially get the call with a brain dead patient (more time).
In the situation where a patient is declared legally dead, "brain dead" in the vernacular, as a receiving hospital Wash U is unlikely to be the one making decisions. Somewhere connected to the hospital where that patient is a donor coordinator who has looked at multiple transplant lists, tried to make the best possible matches based on type, need, etc. and then has to coordinate multiple transplant teams because probably more than one organ is being donated (heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas, intestine, thymus. Also possibly tissues which include bones, tendons, corneae, skin, heart valves). The coordinator has to set a schedule that respects the feelings of the donor family and maximizes the viability of the harvested organs. Generally a potential recipient is not contacted until 1. legal death is confirmed 2. donor consents are signed 3. the availability of the surgical teams is confirmed 4. the ability of the recipients is confirmed - as in receiving hospitals have patients they know can arrive at the hospital before the organ arrives because they are within a limited distance. So if your friend starts looking for flights then, he may be out of luck. I can't ever recall a case where a recipient was notified until 1. thru 3. were certainties. So unless the "brain dead" patient dies at Wash U, that aspect is not going to buy him much extra time.
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Old Jul 2, 18, 3:46 pm
  #30  
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Originally Posted by sweetsleep View Post
I highly recommend that the friend consider getting a membership in MedJet Assist! It is only a few hundred dollars but if/when he/she can be admitted to a hospital close to home they should be able to arrange private jet service to get him/her to whichever transplant center has the organ(s).

There are other emergency medical transport companies that offer memberships as well.

But I would make sure that being on a transplant list is not an exclusion for membership. Just trying to provide additional suggestions for easy transport.
I may be wrong but I thought that patients on a transplant list would have access to immediate air transportation when/if the need should arise.
This may be a long shot but I would investigate whether or not they would do this for a known transplant patient on the registry.

Again, I hope the friend is able to have a successful outcome. Prayers with him/her!!
MedJetAssist would surely refuse a claim for this. They are an emergency evacuation service that is predicated on not having an existing condition.
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