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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Medical emergencies on commercial airlines: An Analysis of Onboard Medical Incidents, Treatment versus Prevention
by Hollis, Brett F., D.N.P., Brandman University, 2016, 87; 10181770
Abstract (Summary)

The occurrence of inflight medical incidents on commercial airlines is documented in medical and aviation journals to occur at a rate of approximately 1 in 11,000 – 50,000 passengers (Lyznicki, 2013; Prout, 2013; Johanson, 2013; and Peterson, 2013) but these numbers can vary. As there are no requirements to report medical incidents to any governing body worldwide (Ruskin, 2009), (Walters, 2008), (Liao, 2010) it is very difficult to obtain an accurate accounting of inflight incidents. The literature reveals that most of the inflight incidents are occurring among passengers with pre-existing conditions (Grounder, 2011) and that issues were not being properly addressed by their primary care providers. The purpose of this study was to show the depth of discrepancy between the currently reported rate of inflight medical incidents and the actual rate of inflight incidents and to gain a better understanding of the general public knowledge base regarding flying with medical conditions and practice of medical providers addressing their patient’s acute & chronic conditions as it pertains to flying on commercial airlines. This study surveyed the general public and revealed the majority of respondents had no knowledge of medical guidelines for passengers and a lack of discussion with their providers regarding safety of flying as it relates to their medical conditions. This study also conducted a survey of medical providers which revealed a lack of understanding of how aircraft cabin pressurization affects their patients with acute and chronic illness. These findings support the need for improvement in developing and implementing a unified method of calculating and reporting inflight medical incidents, along with patient and provider flight education.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stoodley, Lynda
School: Brandman University
Department: Marybelle and S. Paul Musco School of Nursing and Health Professions
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Medicine, Nursing, Public policy
Keywords: Aviation, Aviation health, Inflight emergencies, Medical aviation, Medical diversions, Prevention of inflight emergencies
Publication Number: 10181770
ISBN: 978-1-369-30296-7
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