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View Full Version : Baby dies on Air Asia flight to Perth


Transition Layer
22nd Apr 2019, 11:38
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-22/passenger-tells-how-baby-died-on-airasia-flight-to-perth/11035686

Terrible stuff. Interesting that the pilots discounted a diversion to anywhere else but Jakarta and Perth. Port Hedland and Learmonth both spring to mind as suitable airports although it may have been too late by then anyway.

PoppaJo
22nd Apr 2019, 12:04
Weíve been here many times before with a multitude of incidents with this carrier between these two destinations. Itís quite obvious that unless itís an absolute critical emergency they wonít divert along the WA coast. Schedule before Safety.

I am also aware of another Asian Loco operator who instruct crews not divert to certain ports in this country should an emergency be on hand, either return to port or base but nothing in between, unless on your last legs.

zanthrus
22nd Apr 2019, 13:45
Unfortunately hospitals in Broome, Port Hedland Learmonth etc would not be able to help with much. Even Perth hospitals struggle with some specialities. I doubt anything could have changed the outcome even if the QF skygods were flying.

krismiler
22nd Apr 2019, 14:17
The report states that the baby was being treated by doctors onboard, if they advised a diversion and the crew disregarded the advice then there could be a problem. However it appears death was confirmed so a diversion wouldn’t have made any difference, credit to them for continuing resuscitation for two hours.

morno
22nd Apr 2019, 14:29
Unfortunately hospitals in Broome, Port Hedland Learmonth etc would not be able to help with much. Even Perth hospitals struggle with some specialities. I doubt anything could have changed the outcome even if the QF skygods were flying.

I've had a discussion over this before. We as pilots, are not trained to be making decisions on what hospital is best for someone suffering from a medical problem. Our job, is to get the person concerned, on the ground and in the hands of trained medical professionals as soon as is safely possible. Especially when there is no knowledge at all of the level of services available.

morno

The Nemesis
22nd Apr 2019, 18:21
That sounds good in theory morno however, there are two Christmas Islands, the one in the Pacific has a hospital, but I wouldn't land there except for a Panadol or band-aid ( especially if there were medical professionals on board the aircraft)

EnglishMartyn
22nd Apr 2019, 20:43
Weíve been here many times before with a multitude of incidents with this carrier between these two destinations. Itís quite obvious that unless itís an absolute critical emergency they wonít divert along the WA coast. Schedule before Safety.

I am also aware of another Asian Loco operator who instruct crews not divert to certain ports in this country should an emergency be on hand, either return to port or base but nothing in between, unless on your last legs.
If a dying baby isn't enough to divert to an intermediate point, it makes you wonder what it would have to be, to be absolutely critical.

I would assume they'd been in communication with Operations/"mission control" for advice?

Malakor1
22nd Apr 2019, 22:00
Unfortunately hospitals in Broome, Port Hedland Learmonth etc would not be able to help with much. Even Perth hospitals struggle with some specialities. I doubt anything could have changed the outcome even if the QF skygods were flying.

I'm curious to know what obscure treatment options we're talking about here? A capital city with approximately 8 major hospitals with two being brand new and a state of the art children's hospital, I'd argue the opposite.

AerocatS2A
22nd Apr 2019, 22:51
It is quite possible the baby was already dead therefore no need for a diversion. It is also possible they were in contact with medlink and were advised to continue. Point being, we know nothing about the decision making process and arenít in a position to judge it.

Beer Baron
22nd Apr 2019, 22:55
A couple of doctors on an aircraft with the onboard equipment/drugs are not going to be able to provide anywhere near the care of a hospital, any hospital.
If it were your baby in distress there is no way youíd fly for hours past a hospital.

That being said, I donít know where they ran into trouble or what the specifics were so I couldnít say they made the wrong decision.

Transition Layer
22nd Apr 2019, 23:28
I doubt anything could have changed the outcome even if the QF skygods were flying.

Wtf does this have to do with Skygods? As has been said, we donít know all the facts except they were 2 and a half hours from Perth which puts them nearer to other airports with hospitals.

One wonders if Air Asia even use the services of someone like MedLink or does the low cost structure prohibit that? From the article it sounds like the nurse was the one telling them to continue to Perth :confused:

*Lancer*
23rd Apr 2019, 00:59
The well-being of a sick passenger is not at the expense of the safety of the other 179, and local knowledge counts. So do approvals and a lot of other factors.

How many Australian pilots would land in Palembang (an Air Asia destination) instead of Singapore?

morno
23rd Apr 2019, 01:08
That sounds good in theory morno however, there are two Christmas Islands, the one in the Pacific has a hospital, but I wouldn't land there except for a Panadol or band-aid ( especially if there were medical professionals on board the aircraft)

Point taken. However the main point I was trying to make is pilots trying to assess their opinion on how much a particular hospital might be able to do for someone when at the end of the day, our job is to get them to medical help.

If they died (Iím not even talking about the case in point), itís probably not going to look too good for the pilot when they start asking questions. ďCaptain, why did you not land at Broome which has a major hospital?Ē, ďWell your honor, I didnít think the hospital would really be up to saving this persons lifeĒ.

Defer the responsibility to those who have the expertise to at least be accepting it.

krismiler
23rd Apr 2019, 01:38
An immediate diversion to a suitable airport where medical attention is available puts the airline in the clear in the event of a death. Unless you’re in a flying hospital, medical care is usually better on the ground. Any first aid course advises against delaying emergency treatment in order to get better quality care. Continuing opens up a whole grey area for the Lawyers. In the absence of advice from a doctor I would be inclined to divert.

In this case a doctor was available and the baby was pronounced dead, this may have occurred whilst Learmonth or Port Headland was the nearest airport but before descent would have been needed to be commenced for a diversion.

tdracer
23rd Apr 2019, 01:52
If the baby didn't have a pulse, by the time they descended to land it would already be too late to help - five minutes is pretty much the max for someone to be revived after the heart stops without some sort of external help such as CPR (and after three minutes significant brain damage is probable). It's tragic for the family involved, but if a doctor on board couldn't detect a heartbeat a diversion would be a waste of time.

itsnotthatbloodyhard
23rd Apr 2019, 02:44
Wtf does this have to do with Skygods?

Any opportunity for a sad little tosser to display the chip on their shoulder is a good opportunity, no matter how irrelevant or tragic the circumstances. :rolleyes:

wondrousbitofrough
23rd Apr 2019, 06:06
Not being too harsh I hope, but chances are theres an entire crew from the flight yesterday already beating themselves up over whether they did the right thing or not. Not sure they need our help...

Transition Layer
23rd Apr 2019, 07:32
How many Australian pilots would land in Palembang (an Air Asia destination) instead of Singapore?
None, itís not an approved airport (for QF at least, as youíd know). Plenty of carriers have diverted to other airports in Australia that arenít a regular destination. A quick search reveals that Air Asia have been to Hedland before due Perth fog, and Emirates have diverted to Alice Springs due medical.

*Lancer*
23rd Apr 2019, 14:10
None, itís not an approved airport (for QF at least, as youíd know).

Exactly. I donít happen to have a copy of Air Asiaís airport utilization policy.

Diverting to the nearest airport isnít necessarily as straightforward as some make out. There are lots of factors besides ďitís thereĒ.

Pretty horrible thing to experience :(