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Papers of the Week

2021 Mar 24

J Toxicol Environ Health A

Emergency drug usage during flight and airline safety management for passengers.


Kim J-N, Cho J-E
J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2021 Mar 24:1-7.
PMID: 33761843.


During flight, passengers may experience aviation-related symptoms such as headache, nausea, respiratory failure, and panic disorders. To treat patients with these symptoms, emergency drugs are prepared in the cabin and crews treat patients according taking into account usage and dose guidelines described on the drug containers. However, certain types of drugs are limited and not adequately prepared in the cabin. The aim of this study was to examine (1) emergency drugs used during flight and frequency of symptoms experienced in passengers and (2) cognizance of drug usage among crews was also determined in low-cost carriers. Most frequent symptoms recorded were headache (74.1%), abdominal pain (72.3%), nausea (70.5%), and ear pain (60.7%). Panic disorder (50.9%) is the fifth frequent syndrome in passengers, but emergency drugs are not available for this condition in the cabin. The cognizance survey showed that 21% of crews out of 112 who responded were not interested in usage guidelines of emergency drugs or simply ignored. Thirty-seven percent of crews failed to pay attention to drug expiration dates. Our findings suggest that crews need to be better trained for preparation and usage of emergency drugs in the cabin for passengers suffering from various symptoms. Further, it is recommended that airline companies need to consider to improve the emergency drug management system by requesting training from pharmacists and doctors for safe drug usage.