Joel Schlessinger MD featured in LA Times about airplane safety and on-board doctor help
Dr. Joel Schlessinger was recently featured in the article “In-flight first aid: What’s a passenger to do?” published in the LA Times. This article discusses airplane safety when it comes to a medical emergency and some difficulties that may happen when asking for doctor help.
“There is every reason to help,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger. However, many physicians may not “have the knowledge to manage a complex and critical medical problem.”
“There are many different skill sets in physicians,” said Joel Schlessinger MD, “and some tend to shy away from acute care/management due to their personalities.”
Although it may not be the ideal situation, on-board doctor help can make a big difference.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger has first-hand experience in responding to on-board doctor help
“In the time since I have been a doctor, there have been three instances where I have been called upon to give help to a passenger,” said Dr. Joel Schlessinger.
“The most concerning one was when a passenger lost consciousness as the plane was close to the airport. They couldn’t be aroused and it wasn’t’ clear if they were having a stroke or not.”
An ambulance met the plane as it landed and the passenger was transferred to the hospital immediately. Joel Schlessinger MD followed up and found that the patient had a seizure condition and was not on medication.
“The passenger was released without any further problems, but it was difficult during the time that we didn’t know about the condition. We had no background information on this passenger, making it very difficult to treat.”
Doctor help in-flight can help save a life and encourage airplane safety
While some physicians may not respond when a call is made on-board, Dr. Joel Schlessinger says that there is every reason to aid in airplane safety.
“Hopefully, this article will encourage some other physicians to assist with ill passengers if and when the time comes,” he said.
Have you ever seen an on-board medical emergency? Share how you witnessed doctor help in airplane safety below.