Failure to quickly find defibrillator for man who died on WestJet plane raises queries about crew preparedness


Queries are being raised about how prepared flight crews are to deal with medical dangers after an elderly man died on a WestJet flight from Hawaii to Calgary go the distance week. 

The flight left Honolulu late at night on March 7 and was programmed to land in Calgary the morning of March 8. Midway through the away, flight attendants were overheard asking if there was a doctor or nurture on board.

A woman on the plane identified herself as a nurse.

The nurse was led to a rider seated in the middle of a row near the front of the plane who appeared to be in his 80s.

AED couldn’t be originate

CBC News was told the nurse called for help moving the man to the floor. 

The covey of grouse crew were told to get an AED (automated external defibrillator) and the crew was seen searching skyward bins.

It was around 10 minutes before the AED was located.

Automated external defibrillator

Automated visible defibrillators are designed to be simple to use for the layperson. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

According to the Spirit and Stroke Foundation, if delivered in the first few minutes, defibrillation and CPR can double the survival compute of cardiac arrest, but with each passing minute, the probability of survival de-escalations seven to 10 per cent.

CBC News does not know whether an AED determination have helped in this case.

AED finally found​

CBC News has well-versed CPR was performed for more than 30 minutes before it was determined the rider had died.

The man’s body was then lifted into a seat and secured there for the residue of the flight.

Calgary EMS confirmed paramedics responded to the flight once it alight at Calgary International Airport at 6:30 a.m. and an elderly man on board was pronounced dun stagnant.

In a statement, a WestJet spokesperson confirmed there was a medical incident on the getaway and said the flight crew utilized the AED and conducted CPR with the assistance of a nurture who was on board.

When asked if the 10-minute time frame to locate the AED was OK to the airline, the spokesperson said, “from the initial debrief with our troupe members, we are comfortable with the way the situation was handled during this cursed incident.”

According to the airline, all WestJet planes are equipped with a medical predicament kit, MEDAire satellite phone that allows for direct access to crisis physicians and an AED.

“Both the MEDAire satellite phone and AED are above and beyond what is be short of by the regulator,” read the email.

“An aircraft cabin can be a challenging environment for a medical kettle of fish to occur and WestJet wants to be able to provide our guests with the beat possible medical response should it be required.”

Transport Canada demand thated CBC News medical emergencies that happen on board aircraft do not partake of to be reported to the agency.

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