A man who suffered a massive heart attack on a Southwest Airlines flight may have died because his chest was too hairy.
While good Samaritan passengers (a hospice nurse and a physical therapist) performed CPR on Jack Jordan, 62, flight attendants allegedly did not immediately deploy the on-board defibrillator, a life-saving device which can shock the heart back into normal rhythm in instances of cardiac arrest or arrhythmia
According to Jordan’s wife Caroline, “a female flight attendant that had been right up there with us said because his chest is too hairy.”
Added Mrs. Jordan, “I don’t expect the airlines or the flight attendants to be nurses or doctors, not anywhere close, but in that kind of a circumstance, one of the first things they should be doing is getting that AED hooked up.”
Scissors and razors come as standard accessories with a defibrillator, and man’s chest was eventually shaved and the device connected to his chest. By then it was sadly too late. The tragic incident occurred on a flight from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, N.M., where the couple lives, and just a few minutes before it landed. The man died at the Albuquerque International Sunport.
According to London’s Daily Mail, a Southwest spokeswoman provided a statement via email: “We extend our deepest sympathies to the passenger for her loss. Our reports indicate that once notified of his condition, our flight attendants and two onboard medical professionals assisted the ill passenger, following protocol for use of our on-board automated external defibrillator (AED). All of our aircraft are fully equipped with AEDs and our flight attendants receive initial and annual recurrent CPR and AED training. While in the air, our Employees contacted paramedics to meet the flight immediately upon arrival.” Apparently Southwest is investigating the incident.
[image via Shutterstock]
The American Heart Association recommends that portable defibrillators be available at any public venue such as “airports, convention centers, sports stadiums and arenas, large industrial buildings, high-rise offices, large health fitness facilities.”