Caroline Hillyer 0

Save lives by making defibrillators compulsory on all airlines - Petition for Medical Professionals

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It is with much sadness that many of us medical professionals have today read about the tragic death of Davina Tavener, a 47 year old mother of two, who collapsed and died on a Ryanair flight. However as well as sadness and empathy for her grieving family, many of us have also expressed shock and disappointment that airlines are not legally required to carry automated external defibrillators (AEDs) on board aircraft.

No one will ever know whether Davina's life could have been saved if an AED had been carried on board her flight, however it may have made a difference. As medical professionals there is no greater feeling of helplessness than attending to a member of the public who has collapsed and has no pulse, only to find that there is no AED nearby.

Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) save lives, are safe and are simple to use, even by someone with no medical training or experience. Airline passengers should have access to the best medical care possible should they become unwell during their flight. However if no AED is carried on board then a passenger who has a cardiac arrest will be being deprived of the best chance of survival. AEDs undoubtedly save lives. After a cardiac arrest every minute without CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and defibrillation reduces someone's chance of survival by 10 per cent.

When AEDs are now commonplace in many public areas such as train stations, football stadiums and shopping centres why then should they not be carried by all airlines?

By signing this petition, as medical professionals we are imploring the Civil Aviation Authority, the Irish Aviation Authority and the European Aviation Safety Agency to make it compulsory for AEDs to be carried by all airlines.

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