For years, comparisons between the airline industry (checklists = perfection), and health care (chaos = inefficiency) have rolled off the presses. Kind of makes you feel like the kid brother (or sister) being told by mom, “can’t you try harder, your brother/sister is always number one in class!”
[…] As the flight begins its descent, a call comes over the intercom: “Is there a physician on board?” Three internists traveling together to a meeting respond. A woman has lost consciousness. She is incontinent and unresponsive, with a strong pulse and intermittent breathing. The physicians ultimately determine the patient has hypoglycemia and a seizure. It takes multiple requests before the flight attendants provide the physicians with the emergency medical kit. […]
[…] in-flight medical emergencies occur frequently. Yet the kinds of approaches that have improved flight safety have not been extended to providing optimal care for passengers who become acutely ill while on board airplanes. […]
Odd. Airlines have their act together on the flying thing. Turns out, they are just as dysfunctional with health care delivery at 30K feet, as we are at sea level.
Hey, I know, not good for the passenger in need, but there is something oddly ironic (and satisfying) about this. Kind of like that older sibling, for once, getting blamed by mom for leaving stains on the carpet.
UPDATE: New York Times feature on the same subject