Aviation Nursing and in-Flight Medical Emergencies: Aeromedical Consideration


People travel on commercial Aircraft worldwide on medical, social and economic indications. Although civil aviation industry acts as a fulcrum for the booming Medical Tourism, it encounters increasing number of in-flight medical emergencies in the recent years. Inflight medical events are potentially a significant problem due to aircraft at 30000 feet far from advanced medical care, restricted cabin space and resources. Several studies have shown that every day 0.7 to 3% in-flight medical events occur on board worldwide. Data collected by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation show that between August 2012 and August 2013, there was a total of 46 emergency landings, 38 were because of medical emergencies. The aim of this paper is (i) To assess the present system of cabin crew trained to meet the challenges of in-flight medical emergencies (ii) To evaluate the scientific soundness of Aviation Nursing in future. The objective is (1) To institute proper pre and post medical care in the event of any in-flight medical emergency (2) To reduce the incidence of flight diversion and emergency landing. Reviewing various literatures it was found that many authors have highlighted medical management by the trained cabin crew with the help of physician / paramedics on board, but this author raise one genuine doubt that all physicians on board would not be willing to come forward for such emergencies, it should not be an obligatory favour to tackle medical emergencies on board. Further, no published studies have touched upon the need of ‘Aviation Nursing’ /flight nurse for in flight medical emergencies.

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