UA pilot dies of heart attack, flight diverted to Boise

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by HaveMilesWillTravel, Sep 27, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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  2. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Just blogged about this since I didn't see much on it. Condolences to his family and kudos to the copilot who not only diverted and safely landed the aircraft, but coordinated to ensure EMS and assistance were available ASAP when the plane touched down.

    Sounds like an off-duty pilot assisted, but it's not clear from reports if that was just in the medical emergency or on the flight deck (would be quite the coincidence to have them qualified to operate a 737, but I'm sure there could be checklist assistance, etc. - not being a pilot I don't know how that works, regulation-wise.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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  4. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    Didn't see much about anything here: two (2!) threads plus the penalty thing have been touched in the United forum since midnight (8+ hrs). And this is one of the two threads. So not much of a surprise that there was no thread on this. Is everyone now just running their own BA blog and MilePoint is turning into a ghost town?
     
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  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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  6. milchap
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    milchap Gold Member

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  7. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Many years ago, I was traveling on DAL from FLL to JFK for a family party. I was seated up in first when the FAs made an announcement asking if there were any medical personnel on board. No one pushed their call button. After the second announcement I pushed mine and when the FA approached me, she asked in what capacity was I considered 'medical personnel'. I replied that I was a Respiratory Therapist. She said "Perfect...there's a passenger in the back who is having trouble breathing." Of course I went to see if I could help. After assessing the situation (with what little medical equipment they had onboard) and realizing that she, an asthmatic, had no inhaler with her, I was asked to come to the cockpit to meet with the Captain. He stated that we were over [Washington] DC and he could make an emergency landing, if necessary. I assured him that she would be ok and we could continue on to NY. (Yes, I was allowed in the cockpit! Last time for me!) When we landed at JFK the paramedics stormed the aircraft like nothing I had ever seen, pushed me out of the way and took her off for treatment. The flight crew had me fill out some paperwork, hugged and thanked me and I was on my way.

    My friends and family said that they see a free ticket coming out of this. Nope. Better.....

    Several weeks later, there was a knock on my door. When I answered it, I couldn't see the person behind one of the biggest gift baskets I had ever seen. He handed it to me and when I opened the card, I got a little emotional. It read "Dear Greg, Thank you so much for what you did on our flight. WIth love, Delta Corporate and the flight crew of flight #(I forget the #).

    In retrospect, anyone could have issued me a voucher or credit to my Skymiles account. Instead, someone took the time to have this huge basket made up and hand-wrote a beautiful card. Beautiful.

    Last year, I made a short "Thank You" slideshow/video an uploaded it to YouTube. Go to YouTube and search "Greg Loves Delta".
     
  8. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Greg - No "Your actions left us breathless..." comments? :)
     
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  9. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    It's really difficult to estimate someone's weight or obesity based on appearance. Some people are just large.

    Based on how you measure, I was simultaneously obese (by BMI chart) and anorexic (by actual body fat %) as a teen.
     
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  10. Weatherboy

    Weatherboy Gold Member

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    Condolences for the pilot's family.
     
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  11. LETTERBOY
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    Agreed. Take a look at many NFL players. Some of them are obese, or fat, or whatever else you want to call them, but the majority of them, IMO, just seem to be big. Of course, I'm 5 ft. 5 in. & 155 lbs., so pretty much everyone's big to me. :D
     
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  12. SuperKirby

    SuperKirby Gold Member

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    +1
     
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  13. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Some interesting questions - if chest compressions were being done was there no defib. on board? I know many planes have them but don't know if they all do. Also wonder if they would let an MD into the cockpit under the circumstances and if there would actually be enough space to lie someone down.
    I did not used to carry my medical ID with me, but after having been asked for it when volunteering I now do. Although with the paperwork and hassle it is usually a rather unpleasant experience for the volunteer, but my philosophy is that if it was me in trouble I'd like to have someone qualified volunteer, the old "do unto others.....
     
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  14. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    I get pretty frustrated with all the lead ins to blogs with minimal other contributions, but still this site is so much more civilized than TOBB that maybe that's the cost of admission:rolleyes:
     
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  15. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    1) Not every arrhythmia is "shockable" with a defib, only a very limited set. Asystole, the complete lack of activity, will not be shocked by an AED - only "fibrillating" rhythms

    and

    2) Current AHA AED guidelines recommend two minutes of uninterrupted compressions prior to administering the first shock (or even analyzing the rhythm).

    As a 16 year paramedic I can't remember the last time I actually saw a rhythm I needed to defibrillate, but I've delivered a lot of other electrical therapy to sick hearts. Since we're several minutes out at best, often the rhythms that would be shockable by an AED are gone when we get there if nobody has intervened yet with an AED or just good, uninterrupted chest compressions.

    Given that he lived to admission, the chest compressions could have well been the most important thing he received.

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
  16. LETTERBOY
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    Not to put Milepoint down, but that's a pretty low bar.
     
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  17. Black Cloud
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    Yes, the plane would have had an AED, as well as supplemental o2, and a medication pouch including Epi, atropine, etc. which is usually stored in the cockpit. (the efficacy of which is debatable given they aren't temperature controlled). There was an article in JEMS a few years ago about in-flight emergencies.

    Anyone that's worked in an emergency field setting knows that protocols are generally only guides but I'd assume the pilot was removed from the cockpit and into the forward galley. The trainer pilot would have assumed the seat in the cockpit while the physician worked him up in the galley (really the only place to do CPR on a 737).

    I'd bet dollars to donuts even if the pt had asystole the AED would have advised to shock because the motion of the airplane would have thrown in artifacts (these aren't life packs EKGs) and the default is to shock if unknown. Really, there's no harm in shocking asystole besides wasting time.

    Regarding the pt being pronounced at the hospital is probably more a function of continuous CPR. Without the proper diagnostic tools the doctor probably didn't feel comfortable pronouncing on-board and the Medics don't let anyone die in the bus.

    My thoughts go out to the pilot and his family.
     
  18. Black Cloud
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  19. Captain Oveur
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  20. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    M&m's would be more useful than pretzels. :)

    Sent from my iPhone using milepoint
     
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  21. zippypinhead

    zippypinhead Gold Member

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    Sounds like everyone involved used every measure possible.
    Tragic for the family. My condolences
     
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  22. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Didn't realize that the current guidlines recommend compressions b4 analyzing rhythm - but doesn't this assume that there is someone qualified to do this and that knows the guidelines.
    Also wonder if he lived to admission or - are paramedics allowed to "pronounce", if not well......... (sorry hadn't seen the post above regarding this)
     
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  23. estnet
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    Still - sad all around.
     
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  24. Black Cloud
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    All planes in the US are provisioned with at least potable water and crackers.
     
  25. KenInEscazu

    KenInEscazu Gold Member

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    My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Any unexpected loss of a loved one is a tragedy, but to have publicity added into the equation is something few have to suffer.

    I'm kind of surprised this doesn't happen more often. The cumulative number of daily flights is huge, and let's face it... People die. Piloting isn't stress-free job by any means, but I think that most of them love their work. I hope that I die doing something I love when my time comes.
     
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