How to Deal with In-Flight Medical Emergencies

In last few years a drastic increase in plane passengers has occurred.  More and more people choose to travel by plane.  On average 2.75 billion People are flying annually via commercial flights. Only in Canada, a 27 % increase in passengers has been noticed since 2009 till now. Increase in passengers has increased the complexities to manage the load and maintain the same level of quality services.


Medical Emergency

Facing a medical emergency during flight is not rare anymore. We hear about such incidences in our day to day life. If you are a Doctor, what would be your first thought on hearing the announcement ”Is there any Doctor on board?”  You may be reluctant to take the responsibility because of nervousness. You may back foot hoping for somebody else to offer the service. It is natural phenomena to make any physician anxious on such height.


Reasons for Medical Emergency

The question is how to deal with such emergency situations and what are the reasons leading to it. As there are no accurate parameters to identify emergencies during flight, it’s difficult to track the mishap rates. However, according to Air Canada, there is one emergency situation per 7,700 passengers. Here are the few reasons:

  • The most obvious reason is an increase in passenger traffic.
  • The stress on the body caused by the long duration flights.
  • The increase in old age passengers.
  • Pre-existing medical problems.


Types of Medical Emergency

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Shortness of Breath/ Respiratory problems
  • Cardiac Problems
  • Nausea /Vomiting
  • Height Phobia/Nervousness


Initiative Taken

The possible actions are needed to tackle the situation. This issue was highlighted by assistant professor Dr. Alun Ackery from St Michael’s Hospital and the University of Toronto this year 2018. The Professor Stated:


“We wanted to provide a better understanding of what to expect and how to respond if you’re called to assist in one of these emergencies.”




An initiative has been taken by the Canadian airline Air Canada and West Jet. They have given an overview of the medical emergencies and the possible ways of tackling. What are the legal and ethical responsibilities of the cabin crew? Although the crew is trained about the first aid, the atmosphere and treating patients in the already stressed environment is a different experience.  The airline has set a standard. It’s compulsory for every aircraft having at least 100 passenger seats to carry the medical kit. They also outlined the minimum requirements for the medical kit.


Complete details of medical kit can be found here:

Patient’s Control over the Privacy of Medical Record

 World Day of Social Justice – 20th February 2018

World Day of Social Justice is observed on 20th February 2018. A day which is devoted to highlighting the issues like poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion. The ultimate purpose is to make people aware of the social barriers and how they affect our society. It’s a day when people look at and hope for a society which is barrier free. The society is divided by race, class, gender, religion, and culture. It’s not a day but a global mission of the development of human dignity and self-respect. By “Social Justice” it is meant to be a peaceful and prosperous co-existence among nations.


Back in 1995, 100 political leaders participated in world summit of Social Development held in Copenhagen, Denmark. They committed to work for poverty, full employment, and stable society. This plan of action was reviewed after 10 years in February 2005 in New York by the UN members. On November 26, the UN General assembly announced the 20th February will be observed as World Social Justice Day.  Although, the day was first celebrated in 2009. The theme for the last year’s Social Justice Day was “Preventing conflict and sustaining peace through decent work”.


A Society for All

One of the major goals of the day is to ensure full employment and social integration.  Many International organizations like UN and International Labour Office raise their voices against social injustice and propose plans for the equality and fundamental values of the society. This day highlights the importance of human rights, fundamental freedom, solidarity, and equality on regional, national and international level. Human dignity is worth far beyond any race, religion or class. It aims to implement “a society for all”.


2018 theme: Workers on the Move: the Quest for Social Justice

This year the theme is focused on the hurdles of migrant workers. According to ILO (International Labour Organization), there are 150 million migrant workers. These migrant are suffering for the good work opportunities. Directly or indirectly the poor employment opportunities are the major cause of the migration. According to UN official website, 56 percent are men and 44 are women. The migrant workers are participating more in labor force than non-migrants. The higher amount of migrants labor force is the indication of either higher unemployment rate or unjustified division of work opportunities in the society. The consequences are people are left with no other choice than to move.



Exploitative Recruitment Practices

Migration costs you separation of family, loneliness, emotional frustration, and lack of social life. The migrants are always at the risk of exploitation. At times, they suffer from poor wages, working conditions against human rights, and poor health conditions. The price they pay for having good work opportunities is not worth it. It is indeed a challenging phase to adjust to a completely new environment and never-ending hurdles caused by the social injustice.


Social Protection System

A society is enriched with social justice if there is talent or skill based Career opportunities regardless of gender, religion, color, and disability. The communities are socially justified if people are open to socializing regardless of class differences. Social protection system ensures people have facilitated on equality basis without any bias.

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