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Fainting is the most common in-flight medical emergency.

Byline: ANI

Washington, Jan 24 (ANI): Fainting is the most common in-flight medical emergency followed by stomach upsets, a German study suggests.

The research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Critical Care details the number, type and frequency of medical emergencies on board two airlines.

Michael Sand led a team of researchers from the University of Bochum, Germany, and the University of California The University of California has a combined student body of more than 191,000 students, over 1,340,000 living alumni, and a combined systemwide and campus endowment of just over $7.3 billion (8th largest in the United States).  Los Angeles (UCLA UCLA University of California at Los Angeles
UCLA University Center for Learning Assistance (Illinois State University)
UCLA University of Carrollton, TX and Lower Addison, TX
), who analysed 10,189 different emergencies.

He said, "Although in-flight medical emergencies are rare in general, they can have a significant effect on other passengers and crew, potentially with operational implications for the flight.

"The breakdown of the various medical emergencies encountered in our study showed that fainting was by far the most frequent medical condition, followed by stomach upsets, and heart conditions".

In all, the authors found 5307 cases of fainting (53.5 percent), 926 cases of gastrointestinal problems (8.9 percent) and 509 cases related to a cardiac condition (4.9 percent).

The highly publicized problem of thrombosis accounted for a very small number of cases, although they do occur most often after a flight, rather than during.

According to the authors, "Surgical illnesses accounted for a minor percentage of all on-board emergencies. There were 47 cases of thrombosis (0.5 percent), 27 appendicitis Appendicitis Definition

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, which is the worm-shaped pouch attached to the cecum, the beginning of the large intestine. The appendix has no known function in the body, but it can become diseased.
 cases (0.25 percent) and just one case of gastrointestinal bleeding (less than 0.1 percent). There were two births and 52 deaths".

The authors highlight that there are major problems with record keeping about in-flight emergencies. Out of 32 airlines approached to take part, 27 did not have the data available, one had data that was unsuitable and two refused to take part due to company policy.

Sand said, "Standardization of in-flight medical emergency reporting is necessary for further larger studies to be conducted, as the current quality of data is poor".

The expert added: "Considering the fact that cardiac conditions were the third most common condition seen in this study, patients with cardiac irregularities may profit from an on-board automatic external defibrillator automatic external defibrillator Smart defibrillator Cardiology A device designed to monitor the heart's electric activity and, if ventricular fibrillation is identified, deliver an electric shock. See Defibrillator, Ventricular fibrillation. . The same is true for patients with a suspected myocardial infarction." (ANI)

Copyright 2009 Asian News International The Asian News International (ANI) agency provides multimedia news to China and 50 bureaus in India. It covers virtually all of South Asia since its foundation and presently claims, on its official website, to be the leading South Asia-wide news agency.  (ANI) - All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Jan 24, 2009
Words:366
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