Emergency patients on airline rise 10-fold from 2009-2013: report
SEOUL, April 19 (Yonhap) -- The number of emergency patients on commercial flights for one Korean airline rose 10-fold from 2009 to 2013, a report showed Wednesday.
A total of 2,818 emergency patients were reported by the domestic airline during the period, the report written by the College of Nursing at Seoul National University said without identifying the name of the airline.
The ratio of emergency patients per 1 million people surged to 52 persons in 2013 from 5.2 persons in 2009.
During the period, 15 passengers died in-flight while 15 planes returned to the departure airport due to in-flight emergencies. Out of the total emergency patients, 52 percent, or 1,471 patients, were given first aid treatment by cabin crews while 47.8 percent, or 1,347 patients, received care from doctors or nurses on board the flight.
Fainting accounted for 18.1 percent of medical emergencies, followed by injuries (14.1 percent), vomiting (10.1 percent), respiratory symptoms (9.9 percent), heart attack (7.6 percent) and allergic symptoms (4.7 percent). Most of the injuries were burns caused by hot coffee, tea, soup or cup noodles provided as part of the in-flight service.
The report advised passengers to stretch and walk while flying and let the cabin crew check their health condition if they have any cardiovascular problems.