How to improve the care of in-flight emergencies

“If there is a physician on the plane, please press your call light!” The vast majority of doctors who have flown on airplanes have heard this, and most of us are willing, if not entirely eager, to respond. What follows is usually a far from ideal encounter with inadequate information, too much noise, a cramped space to work in and little knowledge of what is expected or even possible. My experiences (I think there have been three) were people who had become dizzy or had passed out. One of them was pretty frail, but none required that we land before our destination airport. What I learned was that: 1. More than one physician usually responds to these calls. As a general intern...

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