"You're seated in an aircraft, flying at 30,000 feet across the country to attend an EMS conference. Unexpectedly, you hear a chime, and the flight attendant makes the announcement made popular by episodes of "Rescue 911" and other medical drama shows: "Is there a medical professional on board this aircraft?" Will you volunteer your knowledge and skills on this flight? Do you know what supplies and resources are available to you?
Every year, more than 500 million Americans travel by air in the U.S. (1) Medical emergencies aboard aircrafts are inevitable, and an estimated one per 10–40,000 passengers will experience one. (2) With commercial air traffic increasing, these emergencies are expected to become more frequent as the percentage of older people increases. (3) Although flight attendants are required to undergo initial and recurrent training on aviation medicine, first aid, CPR and automated external defibrillator (AED) usage every 12–24 months, EMTs, paramedics and other medical professionals can still provide valuable assessment and treatment to passengers who become ill in flight. (4,5) EMS providers should be aware of the legal protections afforded to them as Good Samaritans of the sky, along with equipment and technologies aboard aircrafts that will assist in providing patient care."
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