NEJM on inflight medical emergencies

Via Doximity, a nice review of inflight medical emergencies:

We conducted a study of in-flight medical emergencies involving large commercial airlines, characterizing on-board assistance provided by flight crews and other passengers and identifying the outcomes of these events, including ambulance transport to a hospital and hospital admission. On the basis of our findings, we suggest a practical approach to the initial management of common in-flight medical emergencies for medical personnel who may be called on to render aid.



  1. The Univ. of Washington Med. School’s capstone week for graduating students now includes a session on in-flight medical emergencies. If you are involved in education it might be a worthwhile effort to duplicate.

    One salient point from the presentation is that the med kits are pretty puny and one shouldn’t discount the utility of shaking down the other passengers for their personal meds. Once couple hundred people are gathered there should be a few epi-pens, albuterol inhalers, steroids, a variety of cardiac drugs, etc.