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Asiana ICN-ORD pax fatality w/ no divert, inflicting 10 hrs trauma economy section

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Asiana ICN-ORD pax fatality w/ no divert, inflicting 10 hrs trauma economy section

Old 23rd Oct 2018, 04:20
  #21 (permalink)  
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Most long haul aircraft carry a body bag or two and should a pax die en route then it would be quite normal to place them, in the bag, in a toilet and lock the door so that other pax can't use it.
Every thing else relevant has been mentioned already, especially the risk of an unscheduled landing in a foreign country with a dead person on board.

If you land in the UK with a dead passenger on board then everyone has to remain on board until a doctor confirms that no foul play is suspected, police will attend and stand by any open doors until the aircraft is cleared.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 04:24
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by krismiler View Post
Some long haul aircraft even have a special storage area for a body in the event that someone dies in flight.
Here's a news story on that ultra long haul aircraft feature:

Airline's new fleet includes a cupboard for corpses

Andrew Clark, transport correspondent
Mon 10 May 2004 20.48 EDT
It is always inconvenient when a passenger dies on an aeroplane - not least for the person sitting in the next seat. So Singapore Airlines has attempted to take the trauma out of such tragedies by introducing a special cupboard to store any unexpected corpse.

The airline's new fleet of Airbus A340-500 aircraft boasts a discreet locker next to one of the plane's exit doors which is long enough to store an average-sized body, with special straps to prevent any movement during a bumpy landing.

Cabin crew have been instructed to use the locker in the event of a death on a long-haul flight - particularly if the aircraft is busy, with no free seats on which to lay out the deceased.
The aircraft came into use in February, operating the longest non-stop route in the world: a 17-hour, 7,900-mile journey between Singapore and Los Angeles.

The length of the flight has forced Singapore Airlines to think carefully about its handling of any medical emergencies - particularly because the route spans the Pacific Ocean, with little opportunity for an unscheduled landing.

An airline spokeswoman said: "On the rare occasion when a passenger passes away during a flight the crew do all that is possible to manage the situation with sensitivity and respect.

"Unfortunately given the space constraints in an aircraft cabin, it is not always possible to find a row of seats where the deceased passenger can be placed and covered in a dignified manner, although this is always the preferred option.

"The compartment will be used only if no suitable space can be found elsewhere in the cabin."

The airline intends to begin a second route next month using the same long-range aircraft - the flight between Singapore and New York will skirt the north pole, offering equally little scope for diversion.

Richard Maslen, the assistant editor of Airliner World magazine, said the compartment was an interesting feature of the new aircraft, which seats 180 people.

"As far as I'm aware, this is not something that's been thought of in other aircraft designs in the past," he said.

"Obviously, these things do unfortunately happen in the air and it's good to see that they have been thought about in advance."
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 04:36
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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I have had three passengers die on my flights. On one flight, there was no reasonable alternate, and he died before landing at destination. In the other two cases, we initiated diversions, but were able to turn back to our planned destination, once the passenger’s death was confirmed.

Landing because someone had died, simply makes no sense. It’s not as if they’re going to bring him back to life.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 05:19
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Off loading the remains at a random location would likely result in significant additional expenses for the family.
Funeral homes will charge a not insignificant amount to pick up the remains from the airport and and will again bill for return delivery to the airport. They would also charge a storage fee since they are not contracted to handle the entire process. An air shipping container would have to be purchased in addition to paying the cargo charges. I wouldn't be surprised if diverting would cost the family an additional $2k or more.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 05:45
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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I entirely agree with the decision to continue.

As @Airbubba noted, Singapore had the locker as an option and I was on duty when it was used, a Singaporean national had passed away and on contacting Scottish Control at 10W they advised us that they were taking him home to Singapore.

Just imagine the expense and inconvenience to everyone of diverting just to offload the deceased.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 07:37
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by The Fat Controller View Post
As @Airbubba noted, Singapore had the locker as an option
Though AFAIK the "corpse locker" that equipped the A340-500s used un SIN/LAX isn't replicated on the A350s that operate SIA's newly-restarted, even longer SIN/EWR route. Can anyone confirm?
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 07:53
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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We had a situation like this, had a pax die around 2 hours into a 10hour flight, the death was confirmed by a Medical Dr who was onboard and the appropriate paperwork was signed. Yes we could have turned back and offloaded the body but it would have been cruel to do so, you see this person now deceased also had family members onboard who were all resident in the port of destination not departure. How cruel would it be if we had diverted and returned to offload the body and then we would have had to offload the family as they would presumably want to be with their loved one. Then they are in a foreign place with a dead relative having to figure out what the hell to do next. We continued and yes some other pax complained but hey, toughen the hell up, what was important her pe was he needs of the family concerned, we placed them in a couple of rows by themselves (business class) with the deceased and moved the miffed business pax back into economy. To this day I know it was the right call, some went to local media with the usual crap but was very pleased when the Widow came out and said how grateful she was for our compassion and consultation with them in making our decision.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 08:27
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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People have been dying onboard aircraft for ages. That locker thing while mostly used as crew carry on vault gave them to much unwanted attention.
Bodies can be stored in locked lavs and behind curtains like they always were if the need should arise.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 08:43
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Pprune is unique in that it was designed as a forum for professional pilots but is now open for anyone to come on and express their opinion. You would never find an open forum for professional surgeons where people with no medical experience or training could post their criticisms of surgeons and they how they could do it better.

There are some situations where frankly it is best that passengers did not know what is happening, ie dispatching with technical difficulties, reroutes resulting in minimum fuel, commiting to a destination airfield without fuel to divert. Professional issues where there are rules and standard procedures may sometimes come as a surprise to what a passenger might expect. This is thread is typical where someone has described a situation thinking it is unusual and may have been badly handled when it is actually quite common and has probably been properly handled. Some of the initial posters clearly think a diversion was merited and expressed outrage that it did not happen. A lot of professional pilots no longer read this forum due to the drivel frequently expressed by emotive people who may be very competent in the field they work in but do not understand a lot of the basics of running an airline.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 08:59
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I know I say this every time but if I crap on long enough maybe eventually someone will hear what Iím saying

heart attack =/= cardiac arrest

out of hospital heart attack- eminently survivable
out of hospital cardiac arrest- less so (5-10% tops depending on the measure of survival used)

Heart Attack or Sudden Cardiac Arrest: How Are They Different? | American Heart Association
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 14:43
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by draglift View Post
Pprune is unique in that it was designed as a forum for professional pilots but is now open for anyone to come on and express their opinion.
...
Professional issues where there are rules and standard procedures may sometimes come as a surprise to what a passenger might expect. This is thread is typical where someone has described a situation thinking it is unusual and may have been badly handled when it is actually quite common and has probably been properly handled.
...
Some of the initial posters clearly think a diversion was merited and expressed outrage that it did not happen.
There is some significant number of people, like me, who came wondering, like, well, how it is handled? how is it supposed to be handled? Before long, I got reasonably clear and reasonably complete explanation, what the procedures are, what the rationales are, with some bonus real-life stories. I also have the ability to ask further (which I do not need in this specific case) and get a good answer. This is certainly very good for those who mostly read and rarely post, and may be good for people experiencing outrage in the starting post(s) (if they are still here reading).

PPRuNe is great to correct my understanding of aviation, basically, and I'm certain it works the same for many others.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 15:48
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by parabellum View Post
Most long haul aircraft carry a body bag or two and should a pax die en route then it would be quite normal to place them, in the bag, in a toilet and lock the door so that other pax can't use it.
Every thing else relevant has been mentioned already, especially the risk of an unscheduled landing in a foreign country with a dead person on board.

If you land in the UK with a dead passenger on board then everyone has to remain on board until a doctor confirms that no foul play is suspected, police will attend and stand by any open doors until the aircraft is cleared.
Having landed a dead body into the UK I need to correct you, most airlines do NOT carry body bags, when we landed the passengers waited about 2 minutes before they could de plane a paramedic boarded along with a police officer, the former confirmed NO suspicious circumstances & passengers were allowed to disembark.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 15:51
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Would you want to land in the middle of nowhere with a dead body? It's not about saving a life anymore. BTW: He will continue on your flight just a level below you.
Block a lav so noboy needs to sit next to him for hours.
Simple question would YOU want a loved one of yours who had passed away put into a public toilet ??? think the answer is NO .
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 16:13
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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There are not many private places onboard an aircraft. An aisle floorspace with a curtain or some lav are the most sensible I'd say. It's not like people get thrown around or handled without respect. Death is natural and happening all the time anywhere. People just try to do their best.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 16:27
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
There are not many private places onboard an aircraft. An aisle floorspace with a curtain or some lav are the most sensible I'd say. It's not like people get thrown around or handled without respect. Death is natural and happening all the time anywhere. People just try to do their best.
Lav's are a no no for my airline as very hard sometimes to then get the deceased out ( a passenger was found dead in one in 90's from an OD, took several hours to get body out , lavatory had to be dismantled!) also you should try moving a dead (weight) body within the confines of an aeroplane nigh on impossible, we just try & make it secure & out of sight of others, but there is no perfect solution as every DoB is different., we just try & show some compassion & respect for the deceased & any travelling companions.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 18:34
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
If the patient has died any need to divert ends. It would be daft to divert to disembark a corpse, why would anyone even consider that?

"Trauma" suffered by other pax? People don't suffer trauma because a stranger nearby's snuffed it. They'll certainly get mighty aerated if they end up in Nuuq or Goose or Assend of Nowhere unnecessarily with an out of hours crew and a 20hr delay though.



Why not? They don't smell any worse than you. They aren't contagious. They aren't a threat to anyone. What's the problem? They're no more offensive than someone who's asleep for Heaven's sake. At least they don't snore.

What a fuss about nothing.
I am with you and those who take a pragmatic approach to the matter at hand. Obviously, this is a situation which makes feelings prevail over rational thinking with many people.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 18:46
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by meleagertoo View Post
Why not? They don't smell any worse than you.
Actually, there's a good chance that they might.
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Old 23rd Oct 2018, 23:46
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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The policy at my airline is no one dies in flight. The death has to be confirmed on the ground. We divert if someone passes away. I have never heard of a airline carrying body bags. If you place a body in a lav and rigor sets in you won’t get the body out. There is also the issue of if they are really dead. Mistakes are made in that regard at hospitals with proper equipment. It’s far more likely on a aircraft.
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 03:38
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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2 things

As I understand it the bowels evacuate upon death. I suppose depending on their contents.

By the time the flight landed rigor would have occurred. I would assume the body would need to be in a supine position to allow easy removal at landing.
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Old 24th Oct 2018, 05:10
  #40 (permalink)  
swh

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Originally Posted by Sailvi767 View Post
The policy at my airline is no one dies in flight. The death has to be confirmed on the ground. We divert if someone passes away. I have never heard of a airline carrying body bags. If you place a body in a lav and rigor sets in you wonít get the body out. There is also the issue of if they are really dead. Mistakes are made in that regard at hospitals with proper equipment. Itís far more likely on a aircraft.
Similar where I work, medlink will be consulted. Medlink do not recommend a diversion for an apparent death at any time. We will have an ambulance on arrival and the passenger will be transported to hospital.

While we do not carry body bags we carry something that resembles a zip up sleeping bag with handles that comes up to the armpits that can contain any fluids. A passenger can be placed into this while on the floor easily enough and allowes the cabin crew to safety handle the passenger. The passenger is placed back in a normal seat with a seat belt on. They are not covered up.

This is kept with other protective equipment like gloves, masks, aprons that are used to clean up and store blood, vomit etc.
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