What airlines carry defibrillators on their planes in case of cardiac arrests?

Medical emergencies such as heart attacks or cardiac arrests on planes are one of the most series events that can take place in the air, and having a portable defibrillator can be the difference between life and death. Here travel journalist and expert Pete Barden compiles a list of airlines that carry this essential piece of lifesaving medical kit.

List of airlines that carry AED defibrillators on planes

Air France Yes More details here
Air Lingus Yes More details here
Air New Zealand Yes More details here
Aegean No - but plans to introduce More detail here
All Nippon Airlines Yes More details here
British Airways Yes More details here
Cathay Pacific Yes More details here
easyJet Yes More details here
Emirates Yes More details here
Etihad Yes More details here
Finnair Yes More details here
Japan Airlines Yes More details here
Jet2 Yes More details here
KLM Yes More details here
Lufthansa Yes More details here
Norwegian Yes More details here
Qantas Awaiting response More details here
Qatar Yes More details here
Ryanair Yes More details here
SAS Yes More details here
Singapore Airlines Yes More details here
Swiss Air Yes More details here
TUI Yes More details here
Virgin Atlantic Yes More details here

How much of a problem is cardiac arrest on planes?

While the chances of suffering a cardiac arrest on a plane are extremely rare, delay to treatment and failure to have a AED defibrillator on board will drastically cut the chances of successful resuscitation. There have been several reports of successful resuscitation of victims on planes as a result of prompt action by flight attendants using onboard defibrillators.

Does travelling on a plane increase the risk of cardiac arrest?

It is well known that sitting still for long periods combined with dehydration and lower oxygen levels on planes can make it more likely for blood clots to form. Such issues could potentially leave some passengers more susceptible to heart attack, stroke or even cardiac arrest.

Do all planes need to carry defibrillators by law?

According to the UK-based Resuscitation Council: "At present there is no requirement for all airlines to carry defibrillators." 

However, Since 2004, the US Federal Aviation Authority has required all US commercial airlines to carry defibrillators on passenger flights that have at least one flight attendant and to train cabin crew how to use them.

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Where can I find the nearest public defibrillator when not on a plane?

If a family member, or someone you witness having a medical emergency needs a defibrillator, dial 999 and the operator will be able to tell you where the nearest public device is located. 
Heart Safe UK has a map showing where registered defibrillators are located via a searchable map. Why not visit it now and find out where the nearest devices are to you - it could help save a life one day. The defibrillator map is here.
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Author: Pete Barden:

Twitter: @pete_barden

Pete Barden is a qualified journalist who has written and produced for publications including The Sun (thesun.co.uk), New Statesman Media Group, Whatcar? (Whatcar.com) Stuff Magazine (Stuff.tv), Fastcar Magazine (Fastcar.co.uk), Maxim Magazine and UK broadcast stations within the Heart network (Formerly GCAP). Pete specialises in motoring and travel content, along with news and production roles. You can find out more about Pete Barden on LinkedIn.

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