Care in the Air
Commercial flight on-board medical equipment
There's a surprising amount of medical equipment available on board commercial aircraft for use by providers who volunteer during medical emergencies. Although the first aid kit contains only basic equipment, such as bandages and splints, the emergency medical kit (EMK), which was envisioned by the FAA to be more of a doctor's kit, provides a considerable range of emergency pharmaceuticals and devices that an EMT-Intermediate might use on board a commercial aircraft.
On-Board First Aid Kit
The first aid kit on board commercial aircraft contains only basic equipment, such as bandages and splints.
On-Board Emergency Medical Kit
the EMK includes a stethoscope; blood pressure cuff; bag-mask resuscitator (one required, child/infant optional); oral airways (three sizes required); nitroglycerin (at least 10 tablets); aspirin (at least four tablets); albuterol (one metered-dose inhaler required); dextrose 50% (at least 25 grams); injectable 1:1000 epinephrine for an allergic reaction (at least 2 mg); oral antihistamines (at least four tables); IV antihistamines (at least two ampoules) and cardiac resuscitation drugs, including IV 1:10,000 epinephrine (at least 2 mg total), atropine (at least 1 mg total) and lidocaine (at least 200mg total). Five-hundred milliliters of normal saline, an IV drip set and a variety of needles and syringes are also to be equipped.
Aviation Portable Oxygen Bottle
Aviation portable oxygen bottles (POBs) generally have only one of two fixed settings: "low flow" (2 lpm) and "high flow" (4 lpm) for first aid purposes and decompression emergencies, which is far lower than what is normally used in EMS settings. Even more unusual, oxygen tubing for the bag-valve mask resuscitations aren't required to be compatible with these on-board oxygen bottles.
Portable Oxygen Bottle Connector
It's important to remember the connector of the portable oxygen bottle isn't compatible with standard bag mask resuscitators
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