|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : eca|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 35000|
msl bound upper : 35000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zoa|
tower : abq
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Navigation In Use||Other|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : zoa|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : flight engineer|
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 8500
flight time type : 2000
|Function||observation : passenger|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
First F/a advised that passenger was in need of medical attention due to ashen skin color and complaint of shortness of breath. Passenger was dialysis patient recently discharged from hospital with nitroglycerin tablets packed in checked baggage. He was traveling to attend daughter's wedding west/O medical clearance or notification to airline of his condition. Emt aboard was able to relieve his discomfort with administration of O2 and opened emergency medical kit to provide standby nitro tablets. Expedited ATC handling utilized as well as captain's emergency authority to allow access by emt to contents of emergency medical kit. I object to the position flight crew is placed in by these situations of making medical evaluations and decisions west/O full knowledge of protections afforded under good samaritan laws. If access to kits is denied for lack of trained personnel, it is incumbent upon captain to either accept responsibility for untrained people using the kit contents erroneously or accept the consequences of failing to make use of all the material available to him. It is the classic rock and a hard place dilemma. As the emt on this flight explained, M.D.'south are reluctant to come forward under these circumstances since the protections afforded emt's and paramedics are more encompassing than those afforded doctors. Similarly, the liabilities of flight crew men is largely legally untested, but open to potentially disastrous liability regardless of which choice is made--specifically, to use or not use the emergency medical kit contents when doctor's are not available. The far's provide little to no guidance, to my knowledge.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PASSENGER ON ACR BECAME ILL IN FLT ATTENDED BY PASSENGER WHO WAS EMT. PIC HAD TO USE EMERGENCY AUTHORITY TO ALLOW EMT TO USE MEDICAL KIT.
Narrative: FIRST F/A ADVISED THAT PAX WAS IN NEED OF MEDICAL ATTN DUE TO ASHEN SKIN COLOR AND COMPLAINT OF SHORTNESS OF BREATH. PAX WAS DIALYSIS PATIENT RECENTLY DISCHARGED FROM HOSPITAL WITH NITROGLYCERIN TABLETS PACKED IN CHKED BAGGAGE. HE WAS TRAVELING TO ATTEND DAUGHTER'S WEDDING W/O MEDICAL CLRNC OR NOTIFICATION TO AIRLINE OF HIS CONDITION. EMT ABOARD WAS ABLE TO RELIEVE HIS DISCOMFORT WITH ADMINISTRATION OF O2 AND OPENED EMER MEDICAL KIT TO PROVIDE STANDBY NITRO TABLETS. EXPEDITED ATC HANDLING UTILIZED AS WELL AS CAPT'S EMER AUTHORITY TO ALLOW ACCESS BY EMT TO CONTENTS OF EMER MEDICAL KIT. I OBJECT TO THE POS FLT CREW IS PLACED IN BY THESE SITUATIONS OF MAKING MEDICAL EVALUATIONS AND DECISIONS W/O FULL KNOWLEDGE OF PROTECTIONS AFFORDED UNDER GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS. IF ACCESS TO KITS IS DENIED FOR LACK OF TRAINED PERSONNEL, IT IS INCUMBENT UPON CAPT TO EITHER ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR UNTRAINED PEOPLE USING THE KIT CONTENTS ERRONEOUSLY OR ACCEPT THE CONSEQUENCES OF FAILING TO MAKE USE OF ALL THE MATERIAL AVAILABLE TO HIM. IT IS THE CLASSIC ROCK AND A HARD PLACE DILEMMA. AS THE EMT ON THIS FLT EXPLAINED, M.D.'S ARE RELUCTANT TO COME FORWARD UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES SINCE THE PROTECTIONS AFFORDED EMT'S AND PARAMEDICS ARE MORE ENCOMPASSING THAN THOSE AFFORDED DOCTORS. SIMILARLY, THE LIABILITIES OF FLT CREW MEN IS LARGELY LEGALLY UNTESTED, BUT OPEN TO POTENTIALLY DISASTROUS LIABILITY REGARDLESS OF WHICH CHOICE IS MADE--SPECIFICALLY, TO USE OR NOT USE THE EMER MEDICAL KIT CONTENTS WHEN DOCTOR'S ARE NOT AVAILABLE. THE FAR'S PROVIDE LITTLE TO NO GUIDANCE, TO MY KNOWLEDGE.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.