January 2016 DEATH ON BOARD WHEN TO CEASE RESUSCITATION
Cabin crew trained to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) should continue CPR until one of the following occurs:
1. Spontaneous breathing and circulation resume; or
2. It becomes unsafe to continue CPR (e.g.heavy turbulence and/or forecasted difficult landing after liaising with the flight deck); or
3. All rescuers are too exhausted to continue; or
4. The aircraft has landed and care is transferred to emergency medical services; or
5. The person is presumed dead: If CPR has been continued for 30 minutes or longer with no signs of life within this period, and no shocks advised by an on-board Automated External Defibrillator (AED), the person may be PRESUMED DEAD, and resuscitation ceased. Note: Airlines may choose to specify additional criteria, depending upon the availability of ground to air medical support or an onboard physician.
DEALING WITH DEATH OR PRESUMED DEATH ON BOARD When a person has been declared dead or presumed dead, the following protocol is suggested: 1. Advise the captain immediately as he/she will have to advise the destination airport using company protocol to make sure the proper authority meets the flight 2. Move the person to a seat – if available, one with few other passengers nearby. If the aircraft is full, put the person back into his/her own seat, or at the crew’s discretion, into another area not obstructing an aisle or exit. Take extra care when moving the person and be aware of the difficulty of the situation for companions and onlookers. 3. Put the person in a body bag if your airline uses them. Zip the bag up to the neck. 4. Restrain the person with a seat belt or other equipment. 5. Close the eyes, and cover the body with a blanket up to the neck if a body bag is not available. 6. Request contact information for traveling companions. 7. Disembark other passengers first and make sure the family members stay with the body. Do not disembark the body until the proper local authority has arrived to take care of the body and that the ground personnel is available to assist the family members. NOTE: if a communicable disease is suspected, use the communicable disease guidelines and use the Universal Precaution Kit (UPK) to handle the body. NOTE: It is recommended that member airlines develop a policy on ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ (DNR) orders that may be presented by a passenger or a relative so that aircrew know exactly what to do in such a case.