Fearful Flyers, Anxiety,Inflight Medical Tips

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Fearful Flyers, Anxiety,Inflight Medical Tips Reviews

Rumor Rumor
2 reviews
Fearful Flyers, Anxiety,Inflight Medical Tips Dec 05, 2013
Hi

I do not claim to be an expert however I will attempt to advise/comment on some of these remarks and questions based on my 26 years’ experience as a flight attendant.

First off if you have a long trip ahead of you PLEASE plan accordingly and rest the night prior. You cannot expect to rest on an airplane if you have mentally or physically stressed yourself out. The added stress of security, delays, turbulence, crying babies, barking dogs, rude people and travel in general will put you over the edge! I would guess of the medical emergencies I have experienced onboard my flights at least one third or more are self-inflicted or made worse by drinking all night and showing up with a hangover, self-prescribing or overdosing on prescription meds for anxiety, staying awake and over caffeinating to pack or run last minute errands or simply not allowing enough time to clear security, customs and maneuver the airport.

If you take medications PLEASE carry onboard enough dosage for your trip and one extra day in the event you are rerouted or delayed. (If you have something really good, bring extra for the crew.Just kidding). Despite what some people may think we do not have a secret passage way to go into the cargo and retrieve your meds from your checked luggage. We do not have a pharmacy onboard. If you are diabetic, have low blood sugar, high blood sugar, whatever your situation and have special food needs, PLEASE make sure you bring it with you. If the flight crew happens to have what you need we are more than happy to provide it for you but please don’t count on us for your health needs! Even if you special order something there is no guarantee it will be boarded so bring a backup. Most of the catering is contracted out. Things get boarded on the wrong flights, things are left on the ground. Just don’t count on someone else to look after your health needs!

IF you know you suffer from anxiety PLEASE try to arrive at the gate early enough to catch the flight crew prior to boarding and ask to speak to the lead, senior, or A flight attendant every airline uses different terminology but basically the same responsibility (the main sky goddess in charge of that flight) Calmly explain your situation, if you need your seat changed, ice chips, something soft to hold, someone to quietly sing soft kitty to you, whatever your needs I promise the crew WANTS and encourages you to be calm and relaxed! Even better write down your name and seat # for him/her they will more than likely add to their paperwork a note to check on you prior to departure. Do not get bigigitty if no one does anything immediately. If a flight is full we often need to get everyone boarded before we can move people around as to avoid a snowball effect of peeps being in the wrong seat which will delay the boarding process. It may seem to you that we are blowing you off but the task is in our mind. Trust me we control the liquor kits among other things, we have our ways to persuade other passengers to cooperate with us. Depending on attitude, people have been known to be upgraded to first class when I am working if I have available seats, BUT please don’t ask nothing annoys us more. We like to feel that we are being kind not being told to be, just saying.

I cannot speak for every airline however I can confirm that my carrier provides extensive training in emergency first aid and CPR. How well are we trained, like everything I suppose it depends on the individual. Experience in medical, nursing, EMT is also considered as a plus in our hiring and interview process therefore a large majority of our flight crew have this experience. You would be hard pressed to fly my airline and not have at least one crew member with some type of professional medical training. That being said we are not doctors or we would probably not be working as a flight attendant. My airline also has a dedicated line on each airplane to dispatch to a paid medical service with a group of doctors and specialists on board to advise and direct us for procedures that may be deemed necessary in flight 24/7. This service is also linked to the FAA and should we have a medical emergency inflight that would require an emergency landing they begin calculating those reroutes as soon as we are patched through to the med link. If a landing is determined necessary we are dispatched ahead of all other aircraft to the airport designated and emergency vehicles are on the ground waiting for hospital transport.

We have a plethora of emergency equipment on each plane strategically located throughout the aircraft (thus those overhead bins that are blocked “for emergency equipment only) so don’t get angry when you can’t stow your bag there if you are the next person to need that AED you will be happy it is stowed there, trust me.

In my career I have experienced several medical emergencies I have attended to or assisted in: a tracheotomy, (please no stir sticks in mouth during turbulence) birthing a baby, CPR for heart attack victims twice, a severe eye injury (pens are never good toys for babies) a seizure, a neck injury (please when we ask you to check your seat belt do it)! Many episodes of panic and anxiety. I am happy to report that in every incident at least one doctor was on board and stepped forward to assist and every passenger survived.

I will also add here that we have two medical kits onboard. One is for authorized flight crew. The other contains medication and equipment that can only be accessed for use by a licensed doctor.

I would also like to suggest that if you are on prescription medication or have a condition that could worsen in flight PLEASE put with your ticket/passport a card/note with the following:

Your full name and address, date of birth, height, weight, nationality, passport #, travel itinerary, condition and details, medication prescribed & location (in handbag etc.) doctor’s name and contact information, emergency contact information. A signed note giving medical personnel on board or med linked crew permission to administer medication or treatment as advised by med linked medical staff if deemed necessary.

I also advise this to people who are travelling alone. Although it may seem a bit extreme trust me, the precious minutes that the crew is prowling through your bags to assemble this information (which we must have prior to performing any emergency medical procedures) could make a huge difference in the outcome of the situation.

Again I can’t speak for every airline however I believe my airline has provided everything possible including training to help in medical emergencies. Just as you would not go to your doctor and expect a airplane ride after your exam or even a coke and a smile, I don’t think you should expect your flight crew to provide for your medical needs. I would lay bets that your chance of getting medical attention from us is better than that airplane ride from your doctor! ;-) Just Saying!

Last but certainly not least if you know you are a fearful flyer there are several courses and treatments available to you. I recommend http://www.fearofflying.com, Captain Tom Bunn, an airline Captain and licensed therapist. You can also find treatment options with an online search. Many of the airlines’ frequent traveler programs also have information and options available for their passengers! So be proactive!

I wish you all happy,safe and calm travels!

Rumor
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the_bill says:
Great advice Rumor!
Posted on: Dec 26, 2013
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