Abstract P144: Cardiopulmonary Arrest Cases During Commercial Air Travel
AIM: The positive effect of high quality cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and early defibrillation on survival from cardiopulmonary arrest (CPA) has been established. The concept of public access defibrillation (PAD) provide a solution to shorten the time to defibrillation and now, all the aircrafts were fully equipped with AED. Commercial aircraft create a special environment for the use of AED since an emergency medical service system response is not available.
METHODS: We reviewed the data reported to the Medical Council on in-flight CPA cases that occurred during commercial air travel for the seven years between 2001 and 2007.
RESULTS: A total of 32 in-flight CPA cases were reported. Automated External defibrillator (AED) was used in all cases. The majority of those cases were men (66%, 21/32) and middle-aged (mean age, 61.5 years). Doctor call was announced in 88% (28/32), and doctors actually aboard the aircraft offered medical assistance for 86% (24/28) of cases. Witness arrest was 50% (16/32), and un-witness arrest was 47% (15/32). Shock treatment was advised only in 22% (7/32). Initial ECG rhythm was VF 22% (7/32), PEA 66% (21/32), and asystole 13% (4/32). There were no inappropriate shocks and no failures to shock when indicated. No complications arose from the use of AED. The survival rate after in-flight CPA was 25% (8/32) in these periods.
CONCLUSION: Whereas the rate of witness arrest was high in commercial aircraft, the ratio of VF (shock advised) rhythm was low. We have to progress not only the PAD programs, but also the systems to prevent and to manage these CPA cases before and during commercial air travel.