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Airborne defibrillators save lives and cut the cost of diversions

This article was originally published in Clinica

Executive Summary

Qantas' cabin crew have saved the lives of six people since defibrillators were installed on all 96 of the Australian airline's international fleet of Boeing 747s and 767s in 1991. "The equipment will not save every victim of a heart attack, but it will give them a chance that would not otherwise be available," said head of Qantas health services, Dr Eric Donaldson. A tota of 23 people had their heartbeat restored and lived long enough to be transferred to hospital out of 46 who suffered cardiac arrest. This success rate is comparable with the Sydney ambulance service, which is also equipped with automatic defibrillators.

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