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Another in flight emergency…

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  • White.Beard.Doc White.Beard.Doc 
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    No, they would not cover

    Click to expand…

    If it was a suit for malpractice, in a US jurisdiction, my malpractice carrier would represent me.

    In Turkey, I am not so sure.

    But one thing about life, it does occasionally throw us some interesting curve balls.  As one of the 1% in the whole wide world, I often pause to appreciate all the goodness that I have been blessed with, an amazing education, a great profession (albeit within a very flawed healthcare system) and so much other privilege.  It is my pleasure to give back as I am able.

    #210286 Reply
    Avatar EMscout 
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    Status: Physician
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    Joined: 01/13/2016

    My moral compass says to always respond when called upon. I accept the small legal risk (if it exists) in order to help a fellow human who is far away from any other medical assistance.

    I’ve responded to about half a dozen in-flight emergencies and only one was a true emergency (patient was end of life and we did not divert). From my personal experience the airlines are essentially looking for your help to a) calm down the situation b) go or no go to continue to destination (divert or not).

    I have no issues accepting verbal and material forms of gratitude from the airline in return for providing help.
    I realize that in some situations this may increase my risk.
    I just helped the airline save >100k by managing a simple case…

    Gratitude has come in the form of
    Turkish delights..yum
    Business amenity kit…cute
    30% of next flight for 2 (very generous of air canada…)

    I would be satisfied with just a nod of appreciation but gosh that 30% x 2 really came in handy.

    #210316 Reply
    Avatar EMscout 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 98
    Joined: 01/13/2016

    My moral compass says to always respond when called upon. I accept the small legal risk (if it exists) in order to help a fellow human who is far away from any other medical assistance.

    I’ve responded to about half a dozen in-flight emergencies and only one was a true emergency (patient was end of life and we did not divert). From my personal experience the airlines are essentially looking for your help to a) calm down the situation b) go or no go to continue to destination (divert or not).

    I have no issues accepting verbal and material forms of gratitude from the airline in return for providing help.
    I realize that in some situations this may increase my risk.
    I just helped the airline save >100k by managing a simple case…

    Gratitude has come in the form of
    Turkish delights..yum
    Business amenity kit…cute
    30% off next flight for 2 (very generous of air canada…)

    I would be satisfied with just a nod of appreciation but gosh that 30% x 2 really came in handy.

    #210317 Reply
    Avatar G 
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    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
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    Joined: 01/08/2016
    Earnest refinancing bonus
    If it was a suit for malpractice, in a US jurisdiction, my malpractice carrier would represent me.

    Click to expand…

    Hm, my liability insurance is for providing care at XYZ hospitals.

    If a plaintiff’s attorney tried to rope me in for providing Good Sam care, my carrier will not represent me.  Interesting question as to whether my umbrella insurer would take on the effort.

    #210346 Reply
    Liked by Dreamgiver
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    For all the ED people here, would it really be that much different whether we’re providing uncompensated care in the ED or in an airplane? I bet the airplane patient would be more thankful. 😉 I jest…mostly.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #210347 Reply
    Avatar G 
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    whether we’re providing uncompensated care in the ED or in an airplane

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    as alliterated by my undergrad comm law Prof, negligence is a Dereliction of a Duty that Directly Damaged someone.  the whole Good Sam protection hinges on that duty….  in the ED, duty is a given if you are attending that day and you pick up the patient chart.

    in terms of dereliction/direct/damage, I wager most of us have been doing this medicine thing long enough to know how these elements are stretched to insanity.

    interesting thread.

    #210363 Reply
    Avatar MSooner 
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    If it was a suit for malpractice, in a US jurisdiction, my malpractice carrier would represent me. 

    Click to expand…

    Hm, my liability insurance is for providing care at XYZ hospitals.

    If a plaintiff’s attorney tried to rope me in for providing Good Sam care, my carrier will not represent me.  Interesting question as to whether my umbrella insurer would take on the effort.

    Click to expand…

    Kind of an interesting dilemma then. The thought of being sued with out malpractice insurance backing you up is horrific. At the same time, I’m assuming a lawyer is going to view an uncovered doctor protected by Good Sam laws as a much tougher/potentially not worth it case. Minimal chance of settling, potential for a really contentious trial with lots of bad publicity, and little chance of the defendant being able to pay out the type of reward that would make it “worth” it.

    #210396 Reply
    Liked by jbmitt
    Avatar G 
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    little chance of the defendant being able to pay out

    Obv the deeper pockets would be the airline.  But my personal umbrella has 5x more coverage than my medmal policy….

    #210410 Reply
    Avatar Kamban 
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    As far as I am aware, no physician has ever been successfully sued for responding as a Good Samaritan. And the courts would certainly take that issue into account if a physician without a duty to the person in distress were to respond in an emergency.

    In the future, I will continue to respond as a Good Samaritan. I feel it is my ethical obligation to do so. And it is further the obligation of the justice system to protect me when I respond as a Good Samaritan.

    Perhaps you may think I am naive, but so be it. I feel strongly about my personal conviction that the right thing to do is to assist a person in distress in a limited resource environment.

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    I in in 100% agreement with you. It does not matter if there is a 0.001% of being sued. If a person has an emergency and I am sober and being able to help, I will not hesitate to do so. It is morally the right thing to do.

    The final judgement for me is not here but a few years down to line when I depart for the final time. I tend to believe that if I or my family were in an emergency then the good people come to help me. I would do to others what I would like done to me.

    #210446 Reply
    Avatar Tim 
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    Foreign court, foreign attorney the logistics are intimidating.

    #210447 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
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    Yes the airlines have deeper pockets but when people sue they tend to do so across the board. Sue everyone involved and see what sticks. Even with a low chance of a payout there is a good chance of hassle and worry.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #210498 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    Avatar Nrm07 
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    In a situation such as this, would it be wrong to state something along the lines of:
    “ I can not rule out life threating emergencies and recommend immediate evaluation” just to cover yourself knowing they likely won’t land or divert the plane? Then treat as you see fit.. then at least you are covered and can say “hey, I told them to land the plane” if you are sued later?

    #210962 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
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    In a situation such as this, would it be wrong to state something along the lines of: “ I can not rule out life threating emergencies and recommend immediate evaluation” just to cover yourself knowing they likely won’t land or divert the plane? Then treat as you see fit.. then at least you are covered and can say “hey, I told them to land the plane” if you are sued later?

    Click to expand…

    It doesn’t matter what you say because the airlines are going to use their own medical control, most likely. If it makes you feel better you can say it but it won’t really make a difference besides the entire airplane being mad at you if they hear that. I wouldn’t spend my time worrying about what to say because the chance of anything ever happening is so incredibly small. I’d put the brain power towards making sure I remember to put my seatbelt on the next time I’m in the car.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #210995 Reply
    Avatar G 
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    Across the aisle from me is a 26 wker clutching her belly…as we push off…discussing the flying while pregnant policy with the lead flight attendant…on a transatlantic hop….

    Suspect it was rude to laugh out loud?

    I’ll take another mimosa, thanks.

    (No news will mean good news.)

    #231480 Reply
    Avatar G 
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    Status: Physician, Small Business Owner
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    Joined: 01/08/2016

    Just give me the whole friggin bottle of champagne and skip the OJ…now they’re discussing that the baby being born in the US is unacceptable….

    #231482 Reply

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