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Surgical and medical emergencies on board European aircraft: a retrospective study of 10189 cases.
Crit Care. 2009; 13(1):R3.CC

Abstract

INTRODUCTION

In-flight medical and surgical emergencies (IMEs) onboard commercial aircrafts occur quite commonly. However, little epidemiological research exists concerning these incidents.

METHODS

Thirty-two European airlines were asked to provide anonymous data on medical flight reports of IMEs for the years 2002 to 2007. The total number of incidents was correlated to revenue passenger kilometers (rpk). Additionally, on-board births and deaths, flight diversions, flight routes (continental/intercontinental) and involvement of a physician or medical professional in providing therapy were analysed.

RESULTS

Only four airlines, of which two participated in this study, were able to provide the necessary data. A total of 10,189 cases of IMEs were analysed. Syncope was the most common medical condition reported (5307 cases, 53.5%) followed by gastrointestinal disorders (926 cases, 8.9%) and cardiac conditions (509 cases, 4.9%). The most common surgical conditions were thrombosis (47 cases, 0.5%) and appendicitis (27 cases, 0.25%). In 2.8% of all IMEs, an aircraft diversion was performed. In 86% of cases, a physician or medical professional was involved in providing therapy. A mean (standard deviation) of 14 (+/- 2.3, 10.8 to 16.6 interquartile range) IMEs per billion rpk was calculated.

CONCLUSIONS

The study demonstrates that although aviation is regulated by a variety of national and international laws, standardised documentation of IMEs is inadequate and needs further development.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of General and Visceral Surgery, Augusta Krankenanstalt, Academic Teaching Hospital of the Ruhr-University Bochum, Bochum, Germany. michael.sand@ruhr-uni-bochum.deNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info availableNo affiliation info available

Pub Type(s)

Clinical Trial
Comparative Study
Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

19154581

Citation

Sand, Michael, et al. "Surgical and Medical Emergencies On Board European Aircraft: a Retrospective Study of 10189 Cases." Critical Care (London, England), vol. 13, no. 1, 2009, pp. R3.
Sand M, Bechara FG, Sand D, et al. Surgical and medical emergencies on board European aircraft: a retrospective study of 10189 cases. Crit Care. 2009;13(1):R3.
Sand, M., Bechara, F. G., Sand, D., & Mann, B. (2009). Surgical and medical emergencies on board European aircraft: a retrospective study of 10189 cases. Critical Care (London, England), 13(1), R3. https://doi.org/10.1186/cc7690
Sand M, et al. Surgical and Medical Emergencies On Board European Aircraft: a Retrospective Study of 10189 Cases. Crit Care. 2009;13(1):R3. PubMed PMID: 19154581.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Surgical and medical emergencies on board European aircraft: a retrospective study of 10189 cases. AU - Sand,Michael, AU - Bechara,Falk-Georges, AU - Sand,Daniel, AU - Mann,Benno, Y1 - 2009/01/20/ PY - 2008/10/19/received PY - 2009/01/16/revised PY - 2009/01/20/accepted PY - 2009/1/22/entrez PY - 2009/1/22/pubmed PY - 2010/3/3/medline SP - R3 EP - R3 JF - Critical care (London, England) JO - Crit Care VL - 13 IS - 1 N2 - INTRODUCTION: In-flight medical and surgical emergencies (IMEs) onboard commercial aircrafts occur quite commonly. However, little epidemiological research exists concerning these incidents. METHODS: Thirty-two European airlines were asked to provide anonymous data on medical flight reports of IMEs for the years 2002 to 2007. The total number of incidents was correlated to revenue passenger kilometers (rpk). Additionally, on-board births and deaths, flight diversions, flight routes (continental/intercontinental) and involvement of a physician or medical professional in providing therapy were analysed. RESULTS: Only four airlines, of which two participated in this study, were able to provide the necessary data. A total of 10,189 cases of IMEs were analysed. Syncope was the most common medical condition reported (5307 cases, 53.5%) followed by gastrointestinal disorders (926 cases, 8.9%) and cardiac conditions (509 cases, 4.9%). The most common surgical conditions were thrombosis (47 cases, 0.5%) and appendicitis (27 cases, 0.25%). In 2.8% of all IMEs, an aircraft diversion was performed. In 86% of cases, a physician or medical professional was involved in providing therapy. A mean (standard deviation) of 14 (+/- 2.3, 10.8 to 16.6 interquartile range) IMEs per billion rpk was calculated. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrates that although aviation is regulated by a variety of national and international laws, standardised documentation of IMEs is inadequate and needs further development. SN - 1466-609X UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/19154581/Surgical_and_medical_emergencies_on_board_European_aircraft:_a_retrospective_study_of_10189_cases_ L2 - https://ccforum.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/cc7690 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -