Utilization of Emergency Medical Kits by Air Carriers
FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE OF AVIATION MEDICINE
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The Department of Transportation Emergency Medical Equipment Requirements Rule of January 9, 1986, mandated a period of 24 months August 1986-July 1988 during which all air carriers flying under Federal Aviation Regulation, Part 121, would monitor medical emergencies and use of the prescribed medical kits. The reporting airlines were to provide descriptions of how the medical kits were used, by whom, and the outcome of the medical emergency. During the two year monitoring period, a total of 2,322 reports of medical emergencies were documented these included 33 inflight deaths, with only one of these representing a crew member secondary to aircraft structural failure and resultant physical trauma. In the 2,293 actual uses of the medical kit, a physician was the provider in over 85 of the cases. The most common presenting symptom was pain, with unconsciousness, impaired breathing, nausea andor vomiting, and various myocardial diagnose the most common presenting sign in descending order of frequency. High frequency recurrent complaints about kit adequacy were not noted during the two year monitoring period there were scattered references about the poor technical quality of the most frequently employed equipment the medical kit content might selectively be expanded to include analgesics, antiarrhythmics, antiemetics, and bronchodilators.
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