In flight medical emergencies

Dr Malik says: I have often been asked to help in airplane emergencies. This article provides the less experienced clinician with helpful tips. It is hard to make assessments in this environment:

1. Cramped

2. Noisy

3. No tools to help! Even a stethoscope won’t work.

4. The doctor is exposed to medico-legal risk.


But much can be done- even if reassurance is all that is needed. Cabin pressure is the equivalent of being at 5000 ft. This carries risk to the passenger. If you are at risk of blood clots, long haul flight carries risk. It is best to get medical advice on if travel is safe, BEFORE getting on the plane.

See the following image taken from the paper linked above:

Posted on 11 January 2019
Author: Dr Iqbal Malik
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