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Old 12-27-2016, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Texas
42,204 posts, read 49,740,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
Do they have AED devices on airplanes now? If not, they should. They are not that expensive and relatively easy to use.
What does AED have to do with anything?
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:34 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,836 posts, read 51,286,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aredhel View Post
Speed of treatment is EVERYTHING when it comes to surviving a massive MI. And unfortunately treatment options are very limited when someone codes 30,000 feet in the air. If the event had happened an hour or so later, after Carrie Fisher was on the ground in LA where she could have been transported quickly to a hospital, her chances of survival would have been a lot better.
No. The commonly held misconception is that anyone can recover if treated with CPR and aggressive measures. That is NOT true. People her age and older have only a tiny chance of surviving beyond a couple weeks. People who are twenty or thirty years old have a much greater chance of surviving.

My father had a heart attack in his home, was IMMEDIATELY given proper CPR by a neighbor, the ambulance was there literally within five minutes. He then spent about ten agonizing days finishing the dying process.

CPR keeps enough blood and oxygen flowing to the brain and heart muscle that they doesn't immediately die. However, in older people the other organs do not have resilience. In his case, the kidneys were damaged and then flooded with the damaged cells from the other damaged organs. They couldn't cope, and the urine soon turned black and function became impaired.

If Carrie was out for ten minutes, that was enough time to start the cascade. The take-away to this is - get your stress test if you are showing any signs of problems, make sure any blockages or narrowing are handled, and then live life. If you are retirement age, you may want to consider a DNR order and living will and assigned medical proxy. The statistics are that retirement age and older people only survive about 2% of the time, and even those who do are tremendously weakened.
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Old 12-27-2016, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,297 posts, read 3,474,966 times
Reputation: 14916
Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
Do they have AED devices on airplanes now? If not, they should. They are not that expensive and relatively easy to use.
As far as I know, most planes do have AEDs these days. But an AED is useless if the patient is not in a shockable rhythm, and even shockable rhythms don't always respond to defibrillation. And no plane has a full crash cart available (or crew members trained in ACLS). And of course it's impossible to do anything really advanced, such as emergent angioplasty, on a plane. So an AED, while a useful tool, isn't a cure-all.

A plane, by its very nature, is just a bad place to have an MI.
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:56 PM
 
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,297 posts, read 3,474,966 times
Reputation: 14916
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
No. The commonly held misconception is that anyone can recover if treated with CPR and aggressive measures. That is NOT true.
And where in my post did I say that? Nowhere.

Younger people have several reasons (besides mere youthful resilience) for having a higher CPR survival rate. They are more likely to be suffering from a primary cardiac arrhythmia or a cardiac arrest secondary to trauma or acute respiratory failure (which are the conditions which respond best to CPR and defibrillation), and less likely to be suffering from a coronary artery thrombosis (where resuscitation attempts are less successful, as neither CPR nor defibrillation can push blood past a clot.). They are also less likely to be suffering from other serious disease states (such as cancer) which render CPR futile. (A person who's suffering from terminal cancer who codes and is "saved" by CPR will code again in short order; death is only being postponed for a bit.)

But in any case of cardiopulmonary arrest, the more time that passes before effective circulation is restored, the greater the tissue damage (especially to the brain and the heart muscle) and the lower the chances of patient survival. And there ARE treatments that can be successful in the case of a blocked coronary artery, especially if applied early in the process, well before cardiopulmonary arrest sets in - but none of them are available on a plane.

On the ground, Carrie Fisher would have had the option of heading to the ER as soon as she felt chest pain setting in. She might have been able to receive clot-busting treatment to restore her compromised cardiac circulation before her heart muscle became so ischemic that it went into fibrillation. Would that have guaranteed her survival? No, but she would have had a chance. On the plane, unfortunately she had none.
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Old 12-28-2016, 12:33 AM
 
13,472 posts, read 9,593,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan4 View Post
What does AED have to do with anything?
If her heart stopped, a quick shock from an automated external defibrillator might have made a difference. CPR is good, but it's not as effective as shocking the heart in many cases.
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Old 12-28-2016, 01:24 AM
 
26,163 posts, read 14,453,442 times
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Unhappy  

This is very sad indeed!!!!!!!!!!!

Many of us prayed for her and all........
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Old 12-28-2016, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Sherman Oaks, CA
6,203 posts, read 15,010,458 times
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I thought she was lucky to have this happen on an airplane only fifteen minutes from landing. I don't know what her living situation was, but if it was just her and her dog, and she didn't recognize the signs of a heart attack and call 911, she probably would have been found dead the next day - much like what happened to George Michael.

Unfortunately, this is the age at which men and women start having heart issues from blocked arteries - men in their 50s more so than women the same age, but by the time women are in their 60s, I'm pretty sure the heart disease stats are similar.

If you catch it early, the chances of survival are pretty good depending on your general health and fitness. I knew someone who had chest pain when was on the treadmill, and he ended up getting a quadruple bypass. He's 88 now; this happened around 10-15 years ago. He has other issues (he had a mild stroke recently, but he has mostly recovered), but he's in pretty good shape for someone who's almost 90!

Thank you to those who pointed out that CPR can only do so much. Everyone looks at it as some kind of miracle maker, but in reality, it can only do so much. We don't know the details of what happened to Carrie or if she was ever off the ventilator. I doubt she would have wanted to stay alive hooked up to machines, so if that was the only choice, it's a blessing that she passed in only two days. We also don't know if there was any brain damage from a sustained lack of oxygen, and again, I can't imagine she'd want to be here without every snarky wit intact! It's sad to lose her, but there are far worse things than dying.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:12 AM
 
7,951 posts, read 3,862,498 times
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Oh good grief. Here come all the medical "experts" on the internet.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Texas
42,204 posts, read 49,740,662 times
Reputation: 66975
Quote:
Originally Posted by NLVgal View Post
If her heart stopped, a quick shock from an automated external defibrillator might have made a difference. CPR is good, but it's not as effective as shocking the heart in many cases.
No.
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Old 12-28-2016, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Texas
42,204 posts, read 49,740,662 times
Reputation: 66975
Quote:
Originally Posted by hertfordshire View Post
Oh good grief. Here come all the medical "experts" on the internet.
Yes, as an ER doctor I find these posts alarming and amusing at the same time.

But that's what always happens when someone dies and people enjoy speculating and pontificating.
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