British Airways today announced its intention to install air-to-ground cardiac monitors in addition to fitting defibrillators for passengers suffering from heart complaints in-flight.
Development work is now underway to assess the feasibility of equipping each aircraft with the cardiac monitors which will be linked to a satellite communications system to transmit data to medical experts on the ground who can monitor the patient, make a diagnosis and recommend the appropriate course of action. British Airways would be the first airline in the world to achieve such levels of on-board technology.
Meanwhile, LIFEPAK® 500 defibrillators will be put on board with the airline’s long haul fleet from April - with all 250 aircraft throughout the fleet equipped within a year.
These two additions to the airline’s on-board medical kit will provide the best possible resources for cabin crew in dealing with passengers with suspected heart problems
in-flight. Both are being distributed by Medtronic Physio-Control of Redmond in the USA.
Dr Sandra Mooney, British Airways’ Director of Health Services, said: “As an industry leader we constantly review the contents of our in-flight medical kit. The addition of defibrillators from April, followed by satellite cardiac monitors, will ensure we can provide the very best care in-flight for all our passengers.”
British Airways is among only a handful of carriers offering the MedLink service provided by MedAire Inc, allowing doctors on the ground to assess medical conditions on board - the closest thing to having a doctor on board every flight.