Without evidence of benefit, an intervention should not be presumed to be beneficial or safe.

- Rogue Medic

Ryanair Charges for Sandwich Used to Treat Passenger for Cardiac Arrest

With a title like this – Ryanair Charges for Sandwich Used to Treat Passenger for Cardiac Arrest – how could I resist adding my perspective? 😈


Picture credit.[2]

Although European flight attendants are mandated to know first aid, one family says that when a relative went into cardiac arrest during a flight, the baffled flight crew didn’t deliver life-saving CPR, but instead delivered a sandwich and soda…and charged for it.[1]

But did the sandwich work?

Once the Swedish man appeared to stabilize, the flight crew presented the family the bill for the soda and sandwich, she said, according to the paper.[1]

Clear evidence that sandwiches resuscitate people from cardiac arrest.

Now the only question is, What kind of sandwich?

OK, that is not the only question. It would be irresponsible to ignore the toppings. Was it toasted? On rye? Or was it the soda? And what about pickles, coleslaw, and other side dishes?

None of the articles I found provided information about the type of sandwich. Apparently, it is a secret recipe. So, what’s in your Lazarus Sandwich? Probably haggis. If epinephrine is not successful, we should skip amiodarone and go straight for the haggis. The only problems are the appropriate preparation and storage.

What else does the article say?

“They said he had low blood pressure and gave him a sandwich and a soda,” she told the paper. “And they made sure he paid for it.”[1]

Cardiac arrest is the ultimate in low blood pressure, but did anyone actually measure a blood pressure? There is no information in the article to suggest how they came to the conclusion he had low blood pressure? When I first read the article, I assumed it read low blood sugar, because a sandwich and maybe a non-diet soda would be considered for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), but not for hypotension (low blood pressure).

All of those confusing medical words can make it difficult to determine what is going on. Sugar. Pressure. Blood. Low. 🙄

What clues do they provide about the actual medical condition?

Appleton is a nurse and apparently put her medical skills to use. She slapped her stepfather on the chest, which got him breathing again, she told the paper.

A precordial thump?[3] [4]

Not just a precordial thump, but it appears to be a successful seated precordial thump.

Why send a reporter with an understanding of medicine, when we can just write down what the daughter (Slugger) and the PR guy from the airline say? Or did an editor cut out all of that boring medical stuff?

“In line with procedures for such cases, a Ryanair cabin crew suggested a diversion to the nearest airport or to have an ambulance on standby on arrival at [Stockholm] so that the passenger could receive medical treatment,” he said.

McNamara went on to say that the offer to divert the flight was turned down by Appleton. However, Appleton says there wasn’t an ambulance waiting for her family upon their arrival in Stockholm, meaning they had to drive Jonsson to the airport themselves.[5]

The family refused to have the plane divert to the closest hospital, because it is just a cardiac arrest. Why treat that as if it is an emergency? On the other hand, what would be the difference in time to a hospital. Did the family request that an ambulance meet them, or did they just assume that if they refused to divert there would be an ambulance called automatically? Maybe the crew thought that it was just an attempt to get out of paying for something – Dine and Dash on an airplane.

The most important thing about the article – no people with any kind of medical knowledge appear to have been contacted for any information about what happened. 😳

Footnotes:

[1] Ryanair Charges for Sandwich Used to Treat Passenger for Cardiac Arrest
Published August 04, 2011
FoxNews.com
Article

[2] Budget airline Ryanair allegedly gave cardiac arrest victim Per-Erik Jonsson a sandwich instead of CPR
news.com.au
August 05, 2011 12:15pm
Article

[3] Precordial Thump – For Asystole?
Rogue Medic
Article

[4] Precordial Thump – For Asystole? – ECG Strips
Rogue Medic
Article

[5] Man suffering cardiac arrest on plane offered sandwich
Digital Journal
Graeme McNaughton
Article

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Comments

  1. Hmm … so was the patient or was he not ever actually in cardiac arrest??? And if so, how did a dead guy manage to eat a sandwich?

    Thank God someone there had the proper training to handle that situation, because apparently I was absent that day in ACLS class!

    • Prehospital RN,

      Hmm … so was the patient or was he not ever actually in cardiac arrest???

      According to the medical professionals quoted in this article – _____________.

      I think that this is a great big No. While a precordial thump may be effective, I do not expect a precordial thump to provide any benefit to someone who is seated, after the flight attendant has served the dead person a sandwich, unless that person was choking on the food and the precordial thump acted as a Heimlich maneuver.

      And if so, how did a dead guy manage to eat a sandwich?

      Slowly?

      Thank God someone there had the proper training to handle that situation, because apparently I was absent that day in ACLS class!

      No lunch served in your ACLS class?

      .

  2. We have coolers for hypothermia protocol on the trucks. I’ve been saying they should be stocked with sandwiches since we got them.

  3. I vote for toasted, you can’t resuscitate anyone with a soggy sandwich.

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