[Medical assistance by doctors on board an aircraft].Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd. 2006 Mar 25; 150(12):660-4.NT
Medical assistance by doctors on board an aircraft The number of in-flight medical emergencies continues to increase due to the rise in the number of (older) passengers, the greater capacity of new airplanes and the constant increases in the distances flown. The most common medical problems on board an aircraft are vasovagal collapse, dizziness, and gastro-intestinal and cardiac complaints. According to Dutch law, a physician on board an aircraft is obliged to deliver medical assistance in case of a medical emergency involving a passenger if requested by the cabin crew. The chances of being involved in a lawsuit afterwards are, however, very small because the usual medical standards do not apply and because the patient usually does not know the doctor that has assisted him. Even if it should come to a legal procedure, the chance that a physician will be found guilty of malpractice is very small because of the special circumstances and limitations in an airplane.