NEJM recently published a paper looking at the outcomes of medical emergencies on commercial flights:
- 1 in 604 flights had a medical emergency occur
- physician passengers provided assistance in 48% of cases
- the most common problem was syncope/pre syncope, followed by respiratory or gastrointestinal symptoms
- few in-flight emergencies resulted in death or diversion of the aircraft
The full article, including recommendations for physicians who provide medical assistance on a commercial airliner, can be found HERE.