To prevent the 1000 in-flight deaths from cardiac arrest per year, doctors at a medical conference in Geneva suggest that airlines carry more emergency equipment onboard.

Doctors led by Prof Jochen Hinkelbein of the University of Cologne, Germany, and president of the German Society for Aerospace Medicine, have drawn up new proposals for cardiac arrest on plane journeys. They include:

  • All planes to carry an ECG and automated external defibrillator (AED)
  • Aircraft crew should request help as soon as possible by an onboard announcement after identification of a patient with cardiac arrest. The announcement should state there has been a suspected cardiac arrest and also the location of the emergency equipment.
  • Two-person cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should be performed if possible and the crew should be trained regularly in basic life support
  • The plane should be diverted immediately if necessary

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