Air France: a doctor saves two passengers two passengers in mid-flight

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Six months apart, the Dr Vincent Liu-Bousquela 34-year-old anesthetist-resuscitator in Nice, saved the lives of two people in plain flight on Air France.

He delivers his testimony exclusively to the newspaper Point. A testimony which, according to the newspaper, testimony reveals “certain shortcomings in the on-board rescue organization” flights of the tricolor company.

First on an Air France flight Paris-Bucharest, a cabin announcement calls for a doctor for a temporary illness. Vincent Liu-Bousquel visited the patient suffering from a stroke. He had the local Samu contacted, who took care of the liaison with an adequate technical platform and the presence of a vehicle when getting off the plane for rapid treatment to a suitable center.

Following this incident, Air France offered Vincent Liu-Bousquel to join the program Community of Doctors on Boardlisting the doctors available on board each flight and thus ensuring rapid treatment of patients.

His second intervention took place on flight AF 267 on August 26, 2023 between Seoul and Paris, a 14-hour non-stop connection aboard a Boeing 777-300ER. The doctor is called for a seriously ill passenger, put on the ground at the end of the row. His diagnosis: massive pulmonary embolism or tension pneumothorax. In the on-board care kit, he found little suitable equipment.

“II want to put in an IV to try to increase the patient’s cardiac output. The crew, once again very supportive, cannot provide me with the necessary equipment due to a lack of knowledge of medical jargon. When I ask for a dressing to secure the infusion once it has been placed with great difficulty, I am handed a Mercurochrome!“, says the doctor in Point.

In addition, there is as standard an injection tap on the infusion to administer medications intravenously. Here, this tap simply does not exist. I had to systematically manipulate the IV in order to inject the medication, reconnect everything and secure it using tape found on site. The device used to check blood sugar levels does not work despite several attempts. The care kit is sorely lacking in medications useful in this situation, such as therapy to constrict the blood vessels in the event of an alteration of the cardiovascular state, the only one available being adrenaline, a strong cause of myocardial arrhythmia. as well as many other side effects“.

After these two experiences on board, Vincent Liu-Bousquel recommends to Air France “a reorganization of equipment, easier access, the training of a member of the crew in a minimum of medical jargon in order to help as best as possible, the boarding on long-haul flights of certain remote diagnostic means (electrocardiogram in particular) as well as exceptional drugs (drugs used to dissolve clots) the responsibility for the use of which must be taken by an authorized doctor, either by diagnostic quasi-certainty, or by constraint in view of the patient’s condition (cardiac arrest with suspected pulmonary embolism, for example)“.

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