Recognizing the health and safety concerns of its youngest passengers, Frontier Airlines (Nasdaq: FRNT) today announced that it will be the first airline ever to outfit its entire fleet with pediatric automated external defibrillator (AED) pads. The devices are specifically designed to resuscitate young children who are experiencing cardiac arrest and will be installed in all Frontier aircraft by the end of the first quarter of 2004.
While cardiac arrest in children does not occur as frequently as it does in adults, it is not rare. According to the Annals of Emergency Medicine, an estimated 16,000 children die each year in the U.S. of unexpected pediatric cardiopulmonary arrest. As a result, and based upon the recommendation of MedLink, Frontier`s medical consultant and ground-to-air medical provider, Frontier has elected to provide its young passengers with the next generation of medical support - pediatric AED pads to be used in conjunction with the Philips Heartstream Forerunner II AED which have been on Frontier aircraft since 2001.
In July 2003, the International Liaison Committee on Resuscitation (ILCOR) issued an advisory statement that adult AEDs could be utilized for children from ages 1 to 8. Prior to that statement, the standard of care for early defibrillation was to utilize an AED on children 8 years or older and many Emergency Medical Service (EMS) protocols limited AED use to patients 12 years or older.
Cleared by the FDA in May 2001, pediatric AED pads are designed to limit the amount of joules, or electricity, delivered to a patient in cardiac arrest, providing a dose that is appropriate for pediatric body weight and size. Following the ILCOR recommendation regarding adult AED use for children, some airlines have chosen to simply modify their AED protocol, allowing the use of the existing adult AED pads on children 1 to 8 years old. However, unlike Philips Heartstream pediatric AED pads, adult AED pads cannot be used for newborns to 1-year olds, and studies have proven inconclusive regarding the safety and effectiveness of adult AED pads for children.
“Passenger safety and well-being is our top priority as an airline, so it made sense for us to move forward with this important measure of safety for our young passengers,” said Tom Nunn, Frontier`s vice president of safety and security. “Philips Heartstream pediatric AED pads provide an added sense of security for the parents of our child passengers, as well as the best in-flight medical solution for pediatric cardiac arrest - although we hope we never have to use this product at all.”
“We are pleased that Frontier has taken an important step in becoming the first airline to recognize the benefits of using age appropriate pediatric AED pads,” said Dr. Carlin Long, Chief of Cardiology at Denver Health and president of the American Heart Association`s Denver Metro Board of Directors. “Appropriate cardiac response can be critical to saving lives, and it is our hope that other airlines will follow Frontier`s lead in an attempt to provide the best possible medical care for pediatric passengers in the unfortunate event of a cardiac emergency.”
About Frontier -
Currently in its tenth year of operations, Denver-based Frontier Airlines is the second largest jet service carrier at Denver International Airport with a fleet of 39 aircraft and employing approximately 3,700 aviation professionals. Frontier, in conjunction with Frontier JetExpress operated by Mesa Air Group (“Mesa”), operates routes linking our Denver hub to 37 cities in 22 states spanning the nation from coast-to-coast and to three cities in Mexico. Frontier`s maintenance and engineering department has received the Federal Aviation Administration`s highest award, the Diamond Certificate of Excellence, in recognition of 100 percent of its maintenance and engineering employees completing advanced aircraft maintenance training programs, for four consecutive years. In August 2003, Frontier ranked as one of the “Top 10 Domestic Airlines” as determined by readers of Travel + Leisure magazine. Frontier provides capacity information and other operating statistics on its Web site, which may be viewed at www.frontierairlines.com.