German airline Lufthansa has recently started using a mobile ECG system with telemedical support on all long-haul flights.
The new system is intended to ensure safer travel for passengers on board in the future and to provide better support for flight attendants in emergency medical care.
Medical incidents on board airlines can sometimes require unplanned landings for medical treatment on the ground, and cardiovascular complaints are one of the most common causes.
This is why German airline Lufthansa has now equipped its long-haul aircraft with the mobile ECG system CardioSecur, which is connected to the international medical hotline International SOS.
In an emergency, flight attendants can now use the new system to record a mobile 12-channel ECG of the affected passengers and forward the data to International SOS.
The doctors evaluate the transmitted ECG data around the clock and can advise the cockpit crew by telephone on any further treatment required.
In addition, flight attendants can search for doctors on board using the ‘Doctor on board’ application offered by Lufthansa, Swiss Airlines and Austrian Airlines for the DACH region. They can then even use the ECG system in expert mode. Around 11,000 doctors have already registered for the program in German-speaking countries.
ON THE RECORD
With the mobile ECG in addition to telemedical care, the airline also wants to make decisions easier for the cockpit crew.
“The data from the rest ECG directly from the aircraft provide a much better basis for decisions in medical emergencies on board,” said Dr Sven-Karsten Peters, cardiologist at Lufthansa Medical Service.
THE LARGER TREND
Currently, most airlines still rely on highly equipped emergency kits and defibrillators.
With the telemedical expansion of patient care on board, Lufthansa wants to further increase patient safety. As an additional innovation, patients can now also book a nurse, paramedic or doctor to accompany them.
Lufthansa has been the only airline to offer intercontinental intensive care patient transport for more than 20 years. With its Medical Operation Center (MOC), the company also offers many medical services on board and around flying.
Anna Engberg is a Wiesbaden-based freelance journalist specialising in health and technology.
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