Air Canada refused to divert plane while man had heart attack — he died

Originally published at: Air Canada didn't divert – man died


Who in the hell is running Air Canada? Forcing wheelchair users to drag themselves off the plane, and now this? Ok, according to the Googles, Michael Rousseau. He’s an accountant. Maybe not the best choice.

ETA: Not just an accountant, but an accountant from the world of retail merchandise before being tapped to run Air Canada. Seriously, who the fuck thought that was a good idea?


Meanwhile, the pilot was speaking with Phoenix-based MedAire, a third-party medical provider used by over 180 airlines, according to the company.

Fitzpatrick says MedAire lets the crew to talk with doctors familiar with the challenges of practising medicine on a plane “to evaluate the passenger and devise a care plan.”

Except that it’s diagnosis by form:

Go Public has learned that in the case of an in-flight medical emergency on Air Canada, the chief flight attendant fills out a checklist that is given to the pilot, who then discusses the case with a MedAire physician.

Too bad that we don’t have some kind of simple, if limited, heart monitor technology, a way to move data around the planet, and most importantly, a way to assess the legal liability.

“Is there a doctor aboard?”

“Is there a nurse or medical tech aboard?”

“Does anyone have a fitness watch?”


…he began to feel symptoms of a heart attack: chest pains, back pains, vomiting, and incontinence… they were flying over Europe at that point. The man died shortly after landing in Canada.

Sounds like there may have been a better than even chance that he could have been saved had they landed in Europe and with medical aid on alert.


Too bad there is no mechanism for the airline to “bill” the passenger for the costs of a diverted flight due to the medical emergency.

Perhaps if there was an unruly hooligan on board who could have created a disturbance (and be billed for his unruly “performance”), there would have been a better outcome.


I think it’s more or less an MBA article of faith that make-line-go-up is a perfectly transferrable skill that’s best left unsullied by any knowledge of the sordid details of what it is that the company actually does.


Yeah - if it had been my Dad, I’d have been screaming and shouting - and above all threatening - to the extent that they’d have had to land to get me off the plane!


That’s perfectly fine in retail. Not so much when you literally have your customers lives in your hands.


Yeah, if he made it another nine freaking hours, his odds of surviving if they had landed and gotten him to a STEMI-capable hospital were very good. Roughly speaking, for his age and assuming he had some risk factors, mortality looks to be between 15-20% (a.k.a. survival odds 80-85%) if treated within 2 hours.


air canada,


I’m not a big fan of suing over every little thing, but I hope these people take AC to the f’ing cleaners.


Is there even a single airline left now that won’t destroy your belongings, beat you, make you sit in vomit or poop, or straight-up murder you?


It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback on a situation like this - the obvious answer is they should have landed before leaving Europe. Or should they?

How often is someone on a plane traveling at their fastest possible pace to make it to the bedside of a dying friend, or parent, or child? Or some other emergency, time-limited situation? We are weighing a single very public and sad outcome against several hundred unknowns - and we’ll never have the information to know, nor any way to balance those priorities even if it were possible to know.

I don’t envy the pilot of that plane. As Captain, it was his decision, and his decision alone, to make. To balance a real-time medical situation against the lives of every other passenger on that plane. He would certainly have had input from many sources, but in the end, like a Judge on the bench, he is the one that had to decide in that moment - not like us, days later, with the luxury of time to gather all the facts and consider additional information not even in evidence at that time.

Season 4 Office Tv GIF by The Office

Saving a life =/= pacifying living relatives.


Yes they should absolutely land any plane for any serious medical emergency.

Full stop, no hesitation.

I have lost family and I have lost close dear friends.

But the idea that I would let a stranger die just to get a tiny bit more time with any of them is pretty unthinkable.


Late stage capitalism


… aren’t pilots busy, like, flying the airplane :confused:


pilot airplane GIF


Did I miss the part where this was a Speed-like situation where if they landed the plane, it blows up? Because the article I read had only one person whose life was in immediate danger and the captain did fuckall.


Excuse Me What GIF by Bounce

I mean… are they gonna die if they land in Europe again? :thinking: Are their lives in danger in some way? Cause that guy’s life WAS in danger and he, indeed, died.

Kristen Wiig Yep GIF by Where’d You Go Bernadette

That’s pretty straight forward, I’d think.