A witness named Brittany Lardner was on board the plane when the incident happened. She is a respiratory therapist who helped provide CPR on the elderly man who died on a WestJet’s flight a week ago. She is worried about how the medical emergency was managed.
According to Lardner, she stated in news, that the death of the elderly man is something they need to learn from. It is a matter of life and death and they have to take it seriously.
Lardner was halfway on the WestJet’s flight from Honolulu to Calgary when she heard flight attendants asking if there was a nurse or a doctor on board the plane. Lardner works at the Foothills Hospital in Calgary. She immediately identified herself to the attendant. She told them that she could help if it needs to be provided with CPR or a problem with the lung.
The flight attendant brought Lardner to the front of the plane. The elderly man was lying on the floor and unconscious. A nurse was providing CPR on him. Lardner asked for an AED or automated external defibrillator, a mask or a bag. They needed these things so they could give the victim rescue breaths. It was already about 12 to 15 minutes before they were provided with an AED.
There were confusions and the crew realized how dangerous the situation and there was a delay in finding the defibrillator. She immediately operated the defibrillator and helped the two nurses and some witnesses provide CPR on the elderly man.
According to Lardner the device which analyzes the rhythm of the heart through its pad, was not able to find a shockable rhythm. There is a possibility that it can due to the condition of the man or can be caused by the interference from the turbulence on the plane.
It was already about 45 minutes, the elderly man was still unresponsive and without a pulse. A physician on the plane offered help and according to him, it was time to declare the man is dead. They secured the dead man on the seat until the plane landed.
Lardner has serious concerns about the confusions and inability of the airplane crew in finding an AED. It is something the airline needs to improve. Furthermore, Lardner was not sure if the delay in finding the defibrillator has made any difference in the outcome. The elderly man has a pre-existing medical condition and he is already old. And why did the elderly man allowed to travel with his condition. I saw him boarding the plane and looked very unwell. A flight attendant later told me, that he was given clearance to travel.
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