Airline offers medical backup

The aging population may have something to do with it, but whatever the reasons, airlines are taking the health concerns of passengers more seriously. The latest is Air Transat, which is stepping up in-flight health and safety by equipping all of its 22 aircraft with automated external defibrillators.

The defibrillator is an electronic device that makes it possible to identify irregular heart action and administer a shock to correct it. It was designed for use by first aid attendants in cardiac emergencies. Air Transat’s flight crews have received training from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada to help passengers experiencing cardiac discomfort.

In-flight precautions
Air Transat also provides MedLink, an emergency telemedicine service, aboard all of its aircraft. MedLink makes it possible for Air Transat’s flights anywhere in the world to have direct contact with a certified emergency physician, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

During an in-flight medical emergency, Air Transat’s flight crew can quickly reach and receive immediate assistance from an emergency physician. The physician assesses the medical situation, recommends a pn of care, and provides continuous assistance to the crew members or to onboard medical volunteers.

The MedLink service is provided by MedAire, a company that specializes in providing emergency in- flight medical assistance with of 20 certified emergency physicians and access to professionals in over 45 medical specialty areas.

Increased survival chance
“Automated external defibrillators (AEDs), when used immediately in the event of cardiac arrest, can increase the victim’s chance of survival by 30 per cent or more,” says Marc Gay, of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

“We are pleased to help any organization adopt this life-saving technology, and we commend Air Transat for being the first airline to use the Foundation’s AED training program.”

Organizations interested in introducing automated external defibrillators to their emergency response system or in AED training can contact the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada for more information at 1 888 HSF-INFO.