bmi cabin crew, Karen Cornelius, Sally Cast and Ellen Davies have been presented with the OAG Outstanding Service Award for saving the life of a seriously ill passenger at 37,000 feet, on a flight from Chicago to Manchester.
It was during a bmi transatlantic flight from Chicago to Manchester last year when passenger Stephen Clarke from Congleton, Cheshire began to suffer severe chest pains. The cabin crew sprang into action and began to administer first aid while talking live to the emergency department of a hospital in Arizona, USA using the Tempus 2000 telemedicine system.
The incident was the world’s first recorded use of a live-transmitted electrocardiogram (ECG) on a commercial aircraft. Mr Clarke’s results were beamed via satellite to doctors on the ground at the hospital who were able to make an instant diagnosis and advise the crew on emergency treatment.
bmi was the first airline in the world to install the technology, which was developed by Remote Diagnostic Technologies especially for use by airline crew in-flight. It monitors blood pressure, pulse, temperature, blood oxygen and carbon dioxide and sends data via the in-flight phone system to doctors on the ground, allowing for expert advice and diagnosis.
The three crew members worked closely together administering treatment while also keeping in constant contact with doctors, relaying the patient’s medical history and behaviour. The pilot of the Airbus A330 radioed ahead to emergency services in Manchester, where paramedics were waiting to take over. On landing, Mr Clarke was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital, where he spent the next ten days, the first four of which were spent in intensive care. Mr Clarke made a full recovery.
Austin Reid, bmi chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted that Karen, Sally and Ellen have been recognised for their life-saving actions. They represent the spirit of bmiÊ and deserve to be applauded for their professionalism in such challenging conditions.”
Eddie Bell, chairman of OAG, said: “OAG is pleased and privileged to recognise the heroic efforts of Karen Cornelius, Sally Cast and Ellen Davies. Their quick-thinking and cool heads most certainly saved the life of passenger Stephen Clarke and is an example to all in the airline industry. They are extremely worthy winners.”
The OAG Outstanding Service Award is a special category in the OAG Airline of the Year Awards, which publicly recognise the highest standards within the airline industry. The Outstanding Service Award is presented to airline or airport staff nominated by colleagues or passengers for service above and beyond the call of duty.