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Similar Data Collected

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2013; 110(11): 191. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2013.0191b

Sand, M; Bechara, F G; Sand, D; M.D

LNSLNS

We are pleased to bring to your readers’ attention our recently collected data, which were made available by the participating airlines. On the basis of 10 189 medical emergencies on board commercial aircrafts we were able to describe a similar distribution pattern as the authors described in their article (1). Our study also showed that in more than 80% of cases, a doctor or other medical professional was present. While we conducted a thorough international analysis of the different forms of documentation of medical emergencies on board commercial airplanes we did not find any register that documented emergencies across airlines. On the basis of data from 10 international airlines we found that the current ways of documenting medical emergencies differ widely. Surprisingly, none of the airlines met the sample requirements of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), published as “Sample Medical Incident Report” (2). Even though Lufthansa with its emergency medical equipment clearly exceeds the legal requirements, as was shown in the article, we were able to show that this seems to be a welcome exception to the rule. In a study of the emergency medical equipment of 12 European airlines, none met the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) (3). Two of the airlines were so scantily equipped that adequate emergency medical assistance would not have been possible on board. Improved standardization of the emergency medical equipment and of the documentation of medical emergencies on commercial airplanes therefore seems indicated.

DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.2013.0191b

Dr. med. Michael Sand
PD Dr. med. Falk G. Bechara
Klinik für Dermatologie, Venerologie und Allergologie,
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
michael.sand@ruhr-uni-bochum.de

Daniel Sand, M.D.
Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Conflict of interest statement
The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.

1.
Sand M, Bechara FG, Sand D, Mann B: In-flight medical emergencies. Lancet 2009; 374: 1062–3. CrossRef MEDLINE
2.
Sand M, Morrosch S, Sand D, Altmeyer P, Bechara FG: Medical
emergencies on board commercial airlines: is documentation as
expected? Crit Care 2012; 16: R42. CrossRef MEDLINE
3.
Sand M, Gambichler T, Sand D, Thrandorf C, Altmeyer P, Bechara FG: Emergency medical kits on board commercial aircraft: a comparative study. Travel Med Infect Dis 2010; 8: 388–94. CrossRef MEDLINE
4.
Graf J, Stüben U, Pump S: In-flight medical emergencies.
Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(37): 591–602. VOLLTEXT
1. Sand M, Bechara FG, Sand D, Mann B: In-flight medical emergencies. Lancet 2009; 374: 1062–3. CrossRef MEDLINE
2.Sand M, Morrosch S, Sand D, Altmeyer P, Bechara FG: Medical
emergencies on board commercial airlines: is documentation as
expected? Crit Care 2012; 16: R42. CrossRef MEDLINE
3. Sand M, Gambichler T, Sand D, Thrandorf C, Altmeyer P, Bechara FG: Emergency medical kits on board commercial aircraft: a comparative study. Travel Med Infect Dis 2010; 8: 388–94. CrossRef MEDLINE
4.Graf J, Stüben U, Pump S: In-flight medical emergencies.
Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109(37): 591–602. VOLLTEXT

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