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Old 10-27-2003, 11:59 AM   #1
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AirTran Flight 556 to Buffalo, NY--Heart Attack on the fligh

I flew AirTran on Wednesday Oct. 22, 2003 to Buffalo. The flight to Atlanta out of RDU was fine, however on my flight from Atl to Buff, a man, probably around 80 years old suffered a heart attack while in flight. As flight attendants did their best to aid the man, the captain made an emergency landing in Knoxville, TN. I must say, I am very impressed with the way that the situation, however, I read an article that defibs were going to be on all of AirTran's 717's by April of this year, and I am wondering why they were not used to help this dying man. I would have gladly assisted, had they used the automatic de-fibs, I am trained and certified as an emergency first aid provider. The "medical personel" that came to the front of the plane didn't really do anything to aid the man, he simply tried to get a pulse. I have now found out that the man was infact dead before we could land and get him into the ambulance, and for that, I am very sorry to his family. I feel that the crew did the best that they could, putting an oxygen mask on him to help with breathing, and contacting ground control to arrange an emergency landing, and I think they should know that a heart attack is nothing anyone can control, and without an EMT and proper equipment on board, there is nothing anyone can do. I do feel that the crew handled the situation the best that they could.
I have been reading several comments around the web, and have noticed a lot of anti-AirTran sentiment. I personally have no complaints. Even though I am not an employee, the crew does the best to accomidate my needs or wishes, and from what I can see, they treat everyone very well. I don't know where people are getting these "horror" stories, but people need to realize that ALL airlines have delays, and AirTran is no different. No matter who you fly with, eventually you will experience the annoying delay, and having to deal with delays is a pain, but it happens to every airline, and most of the time for a good reason. People lay into AirTran because it's former name was ValueJet, but now with all new planes and new employees, there is no reason to compare the two. All these people with negative stories about AirTran probably had a small situation and blew it out of proportion, and never thought to give the airline a second chance. I fly alot, and for those of you who don't fly frequently, you wouldn't realize that delays happen more often than you think. No one can control weather, and mechanical malfunctions occur in every plane. Airlines do their best to deal with these problems, and I have never been on an AirTran flight that took-off without first resolving any issues.
I'm sorry you had 1 bad flight, but you don't need to take it out on the airline. I have flown many airlines, and they all experience the same problems. In my opinion, AirTran has courteous employees that do the best that they CAN at the time, and acting hostily towards them doesn't resolve any issues. Just be patient and give them a chance to help you, and maybe you would feel a bit different.
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Old 10-27-2003, 08:59 PM   #2
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The defibrillators that are on the 717 are for qualified medical personnel to use in case of an emergency, such as the one you had. In order for someone to use it, they must present proper medical credentials to a crew member. I believe this is the same rule that every airline follows.


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Old 10-29-2003, 10:16 AM   #3
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thanks balesnm, we appreciate your open mindedness in the aviation business. As 717driver said, we do carry defibulators on all the 717's but only a qualified person may operate it. My sympothies to the man and his family. Just know that we do care. thanks again.
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