New Delhi: Few airlines stock first-aid kits with pediatric versions of therapies that would help children dealing with medical emergencies, researchers report. In a new study of children’s medical emergencies on planes, researchers found that most incidents involve common ailments such as vomiting, fever, or allergic reactions-events that should be easily treated.
“Children represent almost 16% of emergency medical events on airlines, so these incidences are not rare,” says lead author Alexandre Rotta, chief of the pediatric critical care medicine division at the School of Medicine at Duke University. “Both airlines and parents should be aware of the most common illnesses and be prepared to deal with them,” he says.
“Our study provides this much-needed information.”The study is a first-ever detailing of more than 11,000 instances on 77 international airlines in which children required emergency medical attention, covering a period between January 2015 and October 2016. Flight crew members handled most of the incidents involving children (86.6%), but in nearly 9% of cases, doctors who were on board as passengers were asked to lend their assistance.