(WYTV) – How many movies have you seen in which someone gets sick on an airliner and a frazzled flight attendant calls out the same question — “Is there a doctor on board?”
And usually there is. But that’s Hollywood. What are the chances of that happening in real life?
One recent study found they’re fairly good. A trained physician is aboard just about 11 of every 12 flights.
The New England Journal of Medicine discovered that in-flight medical emergencies are rare to begin with. Of the 7 million flights between 2008 and 2010, there were 11,900 medical incidents reported. That’s one incident for every 609 flights.
The most common in-flight problems were lightheadedness and fainting, trouble breathing and nausea.
A real physician passenger helped in half the cases. The aircraft had to divert to another airport in 7% of the cases.
Of the patients in trouble, 1 in 4 went to the hospital and just one-third of 1% died.
So what other types of professionals might be sitting next to you? A financial expert is on 44% of all flights.
Salespeople are on 43%. Some media professional is on 38% of flights and a scientist is on board 1 in every 5.