ATLANTA — Doctors are calling out Delta Air Lines saying it needs to update its medical kits on board flights to better protect passengers.
It all started when a doctor tweeted she had to help out with a mid-flight emergency and found Delta's kit was missing some key items. Dr. Andrea Merrill added that the kits need a glucometer, an EpiPen, and automatic blood pressure cuffs.
"It's impossible to hear with a disposable stethoscope in the air," she wrote.
Dr. Melody McCloud is one of the thousands of physicians who weighed in after a Boston-based doctor tweeted Sunday at Delta about a mid-air emergency.
"In an emergency, every second, every minute is important, is valuable," she said.
McCloud said keeping passengers safe in the air is vital.
"There are quite a few items that could be put in a small kit stored away and have it available so that when physicians, such as myself and other health care workers are on board, if there's an emergency, at least we have something to work with," she added.
McCloud said she's asked the airline for improvements too and said she first reached out to Delta in 2018, suggesting it would be helpful to identify doctors on board ahead of time so that they could act quickly in case of an emergency.
"For those of us who really are physicians, I think it would be really important and helpful to the airlines, to the flight crew, if it was identified on somewhere in the airline's information about us who are physicians," she said.
11Alive reached out to Delta; the airline declined to say what was included in its airplane medical bags, but shared a statement in part:
“The health and safety of our customers and people remains Delta’s top priority, and as such, the medical and emergency equipment on all our aircraft go above and beyond the regulatory requirements. Our flight attendants rigorously train to prepare for medical events and rely on expert advice from our partners at STAT-MD and medical professionals who volunteer to respond to such emergencies. We applaud our crew’s quick thinking, bravery, and training-based reactions that keep all on board safe.”
"I would love to see Delta and I'd love to even help. Not only put together an appropriate emergency medical kit, but also to really stress why it would be helpful to the flight crew, all flight crews, to have a designation for physicians who are on board."
Delta said its flight attendants are rigorously trained, so in the event of an emergency, they can help too.
Delta regularly works with doctors to get recommendations for their on air medical equipment.