Home > Issue 2 (Volume 14) > First Aid during Civil Aviation Flights: Peculiarities in the COVID-19 era


The rising average age of passengers, the chronic illnesses that passengers suffer from and the stress of flying are just some of the factors that contribute to emergencies in flight. Passengers at risk are those with heart or respiratory problems. Cardiopulmonary arrest, burns and gastrointestinal problems are the main reasons for first aid. The purpose of this review is to present the most common emergency health problems that may occur during a flight, as well as the first aid equipment available on the aircraft. To achieve this goal, a literature review of articles related to this field in Pubmed and Google Scholar databases was carried out in the period 2010-2020. Most conditions are treated by the crew with a simple painkiller. However, there are more complex conditions that require a different treatment, such as oxygen administration to patients with respiratory problems. In some cases, medical advice and assistance is sought from passengers who are healthcare professionals. Some companies require crews to be trained and certified every two years for the use of automated external defibrillators, as well as cardiopulmonary resuscitation. All aircrafts have an emergency medical kit with a limited number of drugs and universal precaution kit in cases where there is a risk of communicable disease. Due to the spread of COVID-19, the World Health Organization has issued specific guidelines for both protecting crews from the virus and treating a passenger who may have been infected with the virus.

Key-words: Aircraft, COVID-19, emergency health problems, first aid, flight.

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