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Petitioning Ryanair

Ensure every flight has an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on board the aircraft and one CPR trained cabin-crew member.

This petition is in response to an article in the Bolton News on 16 June 2015 covering the inquest of Mrs Davina Tavener (47), who died on a Ryanair flight to Lanzarote in November 2014.

An NHS Consultant who tried to resuscitate Mrs Tavener on the aircraft was surprised that the aircraft did not carry a heart defibrillator (AED - Automated External Defibrillator), describing them as critical to survival in cardiac events. 

Mrs Tavener's precise cause of death was not determined at the inquest, though an undiagnosed heart problem was suspected. Although there can be no certainty that an AED would have saved her life, the Coroner, Mr Alan Walsh called for defibrillators / AEDs to be carried on all flights. We wholeheartedly agree.

I have an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) in my chest to protect me by electrically shocking my heart if it develops a life-threatening rhythm. I know from personal experience how vital defibrillators are in saving the life of someone whose heart rhythm goes wrong and they have a Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA), i.e. if their heart stops beating. In these situations, immediate intervention is crucial if the victim is to have a chance of survival. 

For every minute that passes following Sudden Cardiac Arrest without CPR (chest compressions) and effective use of a Defibrillator (AED), the chances of survival are reduced by about 10% (Resuscitation Council (UK) Guidelines 2005). 

Sudden Cardiac Arrest can happen to anyone, at any age and irrespective of apparent good health.  It is patently obvious that an aircraft at 30,000 feet is an extremely high risk place to be if you suffer a Sudden Cardiac Arrest. Diverting an aircraft to the nearest airport is highly unlikely, on its own, to save the life of someone who has suffered Sudden Cardiac Arrest. This is why I have launched this petition. 

So why are AEDs not carried as standard emergency equipment on all passenger aircraft?

The answer is that airlines are not required by current European Law to carry an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on each flight, so some choose not to, notably Ryanair.  

In 2014, Ryanair carried 81.7 million passengers (according to their Final Annual Report 2014). In the interest of saving lives, we urge Ryanair to do as most other airlines do and increase the safety of your paying customers, and your on-board staff, by equipping all your aircraft with an AED for every flight.

Thank you.

 

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