The chances of occurrence of a medical emergency on a plane are around 1 in 600, as per a study in the New England Journal Of Medicine. Have you ever wondered what happens in case someone dies on a plane?
Sheena Marie, 25, who has worked as a flight attendant for two years, has made TikTok videos that have gone viral and garnered over 2.8 million views. Most in-flight medical cases include fainting, respiratory trouble, vomiting, or nausea. And in-flight deaths account for about only 0.3 ℅ cases.
Unlike popular belief, a flight might not make an emergency landing in the event of the death of a passenger. Besides reporting such an incident immediately, the pilot or crew need not follow many rules.
Most importantly, planes have all emergency medical equipment. Also, flight attendants have preliminary first aid and CPR training. If both of these fail, then the priority is to maintain a sense of normalcy.
Sheena Marie said, “If they have a heart attack and die, and there is nothing we can do about it, and we can't start CPR, we are just going to wait until we get to our final destination."
As per the IATA ( International Air Transport Association) guidelines for an unconscious patient, the crew is expected to perform CPR for thirty minutes unless prevented by turbulence or any other obstacles.
Doctors on board, if any, are to be called to assist. A physician is the only one who can declare a person dead. Without a doctor, he or she is only presumed to be dead.
As per the guidelines, the cockpit is immediately informed about the status of the emergency so that the captain can inform the airport authorities.
The body is moved to the last row or business class or a seat "with fewer passengers nearby" and is covered with a blanket. Upon landing, all other passengers disembark first. The body and anyone with them deplane later, and the airport authorities take over from there.