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App Available to Help Doctors Navigate In-Flight Medical Emergencies
Posted on: 12/18/2017

You're on a commercial flight, enjoying a book as the plane reaches cruising altitude. Suddenly, that urgent announcement comes over the PA system: "Is there a doctor on board?" 

Quick! Grab your … smartphone?

A new app, AirRx, hit the market last year and is designed to help physicians assist passengers needing medical attention while in the air.

Most doctors do not typically treat patients in emergency situations – let alone on an airplane with limited equipment, little space to move and no quick access to the emergency medical help available on the ground.

AirRx guides physicians through the most common medical emergency scenarios that occur on airplanes and also has information about what medications are likely on board, how to interact with the pilot and airline staff, how decisions should be made regarding diverting a flight, medical legal concerns, and what to do if the patient dies.

Even if your smartphone is set to "airplane mode," AirRx can be accessed because the information is stored on the device.

ISMS member Raymond E. Bertino, MD, an interventional radiologist, worked with a group of colleagues, including fellow ISMS member Courtney J. Cook, MD, to create the app.

So always be ready for take-off by first downloading AirRx on your phone!  

There is no training in medical school for in-flight medical emergencies.

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