FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Matters Of The Heart

Nov 1, 2004
2004 / November 2004

Heart disease is the no. 1 killer in the United States. Every day, more than 2,600 Americans die from cardiovascular disease. That amounts to an average of one death every 33 seconds, most of which occur with little or no warning. Fortunately, for those who go into cardiac arrest on an airplane, every airliner with at least one flight attendant is required to carry an automated external defibrillator as standard emergency medical equipment.

That’s because the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest is a disturbance in the heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation. The ventricles are the chambers that pump blood out of the heart and into the blood vessels. Fibrillation is the uncontrolled contraction of the heart muscle. Ventricular fibrillation is dangerous because it cuts off blood supply to the brain and other vital organs. Blood supplies oxygen and other nutrients, and when the blood supply is interrupted, these structures begin to shut down or fail. If blood flow is not restored immediately, permanent brain damage or death is the likely result. Ventricular fibrillation often can be treated successfully by applying an electric shock to the chest. The procedure is called defibrillation. Patients who experience ventricular fibrillation in the hospital usually survive because defibrillation is performed almost immediately.

The outcome differs significantly when cardiac arrest occurs elsewhere. For every minute a person remains in ventricular fibrillation, the chances of successful resuscitation drop by almost 10 percent. After 10 minutes, the chances of resuscitating a victim of cardiac arrest are near zero.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation, usually known as CPR, provides temporary artificial breathing and circulation. It can deliver a limited amount of blood and oxygen to the brain until a defibrillator becomes available. However, defibrillation is the only effective way to resuscitate a victim of ventricular fibrillation.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires every airliner with at least one flight attendant to carry an automated external defibrillator as standard emergency medical equipment. Many carriers, though, installed AEDs on a voluntary basis prior to the FAA regulation.

Qantas was the first airline to install AEDs, and passenger Roland Koenig made history as the first sudden cardiac arrest victim saved in flight. American Airlines installed AEDs on its planes in 1996. Two years later, Mike Tighe of Boston became the first person saved on a domestic flight. In the first two years of the American Airlines AED program, six of 14 sudden cardiac arrest victims, about 40 percent, were resuscitated. This compares with an average survival rate in the United States of just 7 percent. So far, 47 sudden cardiac arrest victims have been resuscitated on American Airlines’ flights, and numerous others have been saved thanks to AED programs initiated by other airlines.

AED placement on commercial aircraft has done more than save lives in flight — it has helped create awareness among the traveling public about the need for rapid access to defibrillation in other settings. A recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine provides conclusive evidence that laypersons trained to operate AEDs can improve survival rates for out-of-hospital victims.

So, how does any AED work? Modern external defibrillators weigh as little as 4 pounds and are the size of a hardcover novel. Instead of using rechargeable batteries, these AEDs are powered by long-life battery packs. Regardless of which brand of AED is used, operating one is as simple as pressing the “on” button. Once the AED is turned on, it actually speaks to you in a computer-generated voice that guides you through the rest of the procedure. You will be prompted to place a set of adhesive electrode pads on the victim’s bare chest and to plug the pads’ connector into the AED.

The AED will then automatically begin to analyze the person’s heart rhythm to determine if a shock is required. It is critical that no contact be made with the person while the machine is analyzing the electrocardiogram. If the victim is touched while the AED is analyzing the cardiac rhythm, the ECG may not be accurate. If the machine determines that a shock is indicated, it will automatically charge itself and tell you when to press the button that will deliver the shock. Once the shock is delivered, or if no shock is deemed necessary, you will be prompted to check to see if the person has had a return of normal breathing or circulation. If not, you will be reminded to start CPR.

With defibrillators becoming more prevalent in communities, and with the greater public awareness of their value, the number of deaths each year from sudden cardiac arrest can be dramatically reduced. A traveler in an airport may retrieve and use an AED mounted in a public location. In most states, some form of a “good Samaritan” statute will cover an individual who uses an AED in a good-faith attempt to save the life of a cardiac arrest victim.

Food and Drug Administration support of AEDs is so strong that the organization recently approved the sale of AEDs without a prescription for in-home use. Eventually, AEDs may be as common as fire extinguishers in private homes — on display and readily available in the event of an emergency. The chances are increasing daily that, some day, you will use an AED to save the life of a victim of sudden cardiac arrest. Don’t worry: All you have to do is press the “on” button. The AED will tell you what to do next.

For more information about AEDs, visit www.americanheart.org.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Daily
May 29, 2020

6 Reasons We Can’t Wait to #ComeBacktoTravel to the Florida Keys

At FXExpress Publications, Inc., we can’t wait to #ComeBacktoTravel, and we can’t wait for the travel industry and others to #ComeBacktoGT. Join us over the next several weeks as we entice you with photos from some of the places we’re most excited to visit. Take a visual journey through some of the Florida Keys’ most breathtaking sights with us, just in time for the June 1 reopening.

A Lighter Footprint

United Airlines’ environmentally friendly efforts lessen the impact on local U.S. communities.

Daily
May 29, 2020

Four Seasons Resort Revamps Reef Club

Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Kuda Huraa unveiled its newly renovated Reef Club. The Mediterranean eatery offers the warm vibes of the southern coast of Europe, combined with views of the Maldives.

Daily
May 28, 2020

European Commission Outlines Plan to Reopen Europe

People need a “chance to get some well-needed rest, relaxation and fresh air.” This is a sentiment we all likely share, as does the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union. The EC included that phrase when it released its plan to help reopen Europe following the COVID-19 global pandemic. While most EU borders remain closed to international travel until at least mid-June, the EC’s plan starts with inter-Europe travel, and are non-binding recommendations and guidelines. European countries still have the final decision, so travelers are advised to check the restrictions of the countries they plan to visit. According to the EC, “blanket restrictions of free movement are replaced by targeted measures.”

Adventure of a Lifetime with Volvo

Looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own adventure of a lifetime. Volvo allows you to custom order your new automobile tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

Daily
May 28, 2020

Cruise Line Updates on Cancellations and Rebookings Due to COVID-19

The cruise industry responds to the COVID-19 pandemic with updates on cancellations and rebooking policies. Here’s an update.

eFlyer Deals
May 27, 2020

Star Clippers Offers Complimentary Hotel Nights on Caribbean Sailings

Star Clippers offers two complimentary hotel nights in Barbados or St. Maarten for Caribbean sailings December 2020–March 2022. For use before or after the cruise, the hotel deal also includes one breakfast and a ship transfer.

The Perfect Fit

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.

eFlyer Deals
May 27, 2020

Naples Grande Beach Resort, Cheeca Lodge & Spa Debut Reopening Offer

Two Florida hotels boast reopening offers as Florida begins its phased reopening.