May 312013
 

reflector

Friday, May 31, 2013

Her times of crisis with sickle cell disease could have been frightening for Caitlyn Buckman of Winterville. Yet the staff at Vidant Children’s Hospital comforted and reassured her and always were ready to treat the pain, fever or discomfort it caused, said her mother, Agnes Buckman.

Now that Caitlyn, 8, is better, thanks to a cord blood transplant, her mother is thankful for the staff’s expertise in treating this chronic disease.

“Vidant Children’s Hospital has been a backbone for everything,” Agnes Buckman said. “The physicians, the nurses, the child life staff all chipped in and helped, every time we were there.”

Caitlyn will take part in the 2013 Celebration Broadcast today and Sunday on WITN. She is among the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Miracle Children whose recovery from serious injury or illness spreads hope to families throughout eastern North Carolina.

The theme of this year’s Celebration Broadcast is “A Promise Fulfilled,” which shows the shared excitement about opening the two-story children’s hospital addition. The project brings a new level of care to the region. A gift from James and Connie Maynard, along with public contributions, made the children’s hospital addition possible.

Official ribbon-cutting events for the new hospital addition will take place in June.

This year’s miracle children, in addition to Caitlyn, are Lucas Moore, 9, of Bear Grass, who is this year’s poster child; Ayden Egan, 9, of Goldsboro, and Jeremiah Williford, 2, of Ahoskie. Miracle teens are Glenn “Cort” Poole, 18, of Havelock and Hugo Rubirosa, 18, of Swansboro.

“This opening of the new children’s hospital addition is huge for Greenville,” Dr. Ronald M. Perkin, James and Connie Maynard Distinguished Professor and chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Brody School of Medicine, said.

Perkin also is co-medical director at Vidant Children’s Hospital.

“It represents the commitment of our community to children, and it also shows how dedicated Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals is to raising the funds to help make it happen, and to all the individual donors who contributed,” he said. “This hospital will help us better meet the needs of the sickest children in eastern North Carolina.”

The addition means saving more lives than ever, according to Laura Lee Potter, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals program director.

“It is so exciting for us and for everyone who cares about kids in eastern North Carolina,” Potter said. “Families depend on Vidant Children’s Hospital for care, and for the programs that keep our kids healthy.”

“It is a wonderful time for everyone at our hospital, knowing that thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we can keep our promise by providing excellent medical care, close to home.” she said.

via The Daily Reflector.

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May 312013
 

newsobserver

Published: May 31, 2013

Obit

Dr. Robert “Bob” Earl Schellenberger, 80, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, May 27, 2013. He will be remembered as a gentle, loving, caring intellectual.

A memorial service will be conducted Sunday at 1 pm in the Wilkerson Funeral Chapel. The family will receive friends following the service.

Dr. Schellenberger, a native of Rock County, Wisconsin, had made his home in Greenville since 1981. He was employed with East Carolina University School of Business serving as a professor of corporate strategy in the Decision Sciences department as well as the Chair of the Department from 1989-2004. He also served as a professor for the University of Maryland, Southern Illinois University, Wake Forest University, and Temple University. He authored 10 books, 1 monograph, and numerous articles.

He was a member of Peace Presbyterian Church and the Golden K Kiwanis Club. But he was most proud of his work with children as an Assistant Scout Master, Director of Youth Programs for Military Base in Germany, Sunday School Teacher, Co-Chair of Human Justice Task Force, Pitt Boys and Girls Club, a Tutor (via Kiwanis), and a Mentor (via Kiwanis).

He is survived by his: wife of 51 years, Linda Todd Schellenberger; sons, Brian Todd Schellenberger, of Tucson, AZ and Keith William Schellenberger and wife, Patricia, of Cary; and daughter, Heidi Louise S. Rayher and husband, Dylan, of Oakland, CA; grandchildren, Kevin Sheridan of Durham, Alan Sheridan of San Jose, CA, Laura Sheridan of Durham, Carrie Schellenberger of Cary, Robert Eric Schellenberger of Cary, and Phoenix Rayher of Oakland, CA.

Memorial contributions may be made to Peace Presbyterian Church, 301 Guiness Drive,

via Dr. Robert “Bob” Earl Schellenberger | Death Notices | NewsObserver.com.

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May 312013
 

newsobserver

Published: May 30, 2013 Updated 14 hours ago

By Jane Stancill — jstancill@newsobserver.com

James Moeser, a music professor who led UNC-Chapel Hill for eight years, will become interim chancellor at UNC School of the Arts.

He will start Aug. 1 at the public arts high school and college in Winston-Salem, succeeding John Mauceri, who will step down as chancellor June 30 after seven years.

Moeser will be paid an annualized salary of $260,000, a UNC spokeswoman said. The school’s provost, David Nelson, will serve as acting chancellor for the month of July.

The conservatory needed an interim leader, according to UNCSA officials, because the search for Mauceri’s successor is taking longer than expected. Mauceri announced his plans in October of last year, leaving what is typically enough time to make a new hire.

But earlier this month, Rob King, vice chairman of the trustees and chairman of the search committee, sent a letter to the campus explaining that the search would extend into the fall.

“While we have been absolutely thrilled at the caliber of candidates the search has attracted, the current marketplace is both highly competitive and somewhat unpredictable,” King’s letter said. “It now appears that the search will take longer than we had initially hoped.”

King’s letter said finding a new leader is critical to UNCSA’s future, “and we are determined to get it right, however long the process takes.”

Moeser, a Texas native and concert organist, was chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill from 2000 to 2008. He helped start the Carolina Covenant grant program for low-income students, led a major fundraising campaign and defended the university’s academic freedom during a controversy over teaching a book about the Quran in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001.

Since his retirement as chancellor, he has co-taught a first-year seminar in music and led a faculty leadership program.

Critical of coverage

Recently, he made news when he criticized news coverage of the football and academic scandals that have hammered UNC-CH’s reputation in the past three years.

“I’m really angry about [the media],” Moeser told the Chapel Hill Magazine, a lifestyle publication. “I think they target people, and they take pleasure in bringing people down. I think their real goal here was to remove banners from the Smith Center.”

Some bristled at the remarks because much of the buildup of UNC-CH’s football program occurred during Moeser’s tenure.

‘Uniquely qualified’

UNC President Tom Ross, in a news release, said UNCSA would be in capable hands with Moeser.

“James Moeser’s vast administrative experience and his demonstrated love of and commitment to the arts and humanities make him uniquely qualified to lead the School of the Arts during a time of transition,” Ross’ statement said. “He understands the many challenges and opportunities before this very special campus of the University, and I am grateful that he has agreed to accept this important assignment.”

Before coming to UNC-CH, Moeser’s career as a professor and administrator spanned a number of public campuses, including the University of Kansas, Pennsylvania State University, University of South Carolina and University of Nebraska.

Stancill: 919-829-4559

via James Moeser to lead UNC School of the Arts | Education | NewsObserver.com.

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May 312013
 

 

reflector

The Tar River Community Band

Picasa   The Tar River Community Band

By NATALIE SAYEWICH

Friday, May 31, 2013

Forty years ago, Stuart Aronson noticed a need for summertime entertainment in Greenville.

So the playwright and former ECU professor organized some bands, found a stage and Sunday in the Park was born in 1973. The concert series opens for the season on Sunday with the Tar River Community Band. Guests are invited to pack chairs or a blanket to sit on, pack a picnic and enjoy free live entertainment at the Town Common.

The event’s viability was questionable at its inception due to a small budget and skepticism from the community and the bands Aronson attempted to book.

“I didn’t know if it was going to work, he said. “People were poo-pooing it, saying it will never work. It was all done by the seat of our pants.”

But as he was setting up for that first concert, Aronson got a pleasant surprise.

“The orchestra conductor said, ‘Stuart, turn around,’ and I turned around and there was a thousand people out there,” Aronson said. “They loved it.”

This summer, as the event celebrates its 40th anniversary, Aronson will prepare to step away from his brainchild, leaving its legacy in the hands of the parks and recreation department’s Ronnie Harris.

For his final year, Aronson has lined up both old favorites and groups making their Sunday in the Park debut.

The Monitors are one of the former, having played the event every year. They will perform June 30.

“There were some other people I invited who didn’t come out — they didn’t take it seriously, they didn’t think it was going to happen — since they came out, I swore to them ‘As long as I’m doing Sunday in the Park, you guys will play.’ And they’ve been back every year.”

Most of the members of The Monitors are different from the band that performed that very first concert — only the group’s leader Bill Myers remains. Its sound, though, is still very similar and they carry on an important, even if not overtly historical, tradition.

“At the very end of the concert, they do The Electric Slide, and every walk of life, every ethnic group comes down and they do the electric slide side-by-side. Maybe in 2013 it’s no big deal — although it still brings tears to the eyes of Bill Myers, because he remembers when it started that there was segregation and that you never could dream of having a performance where you could have hundreds of African Americans out there just enjoying it and then coming down to do the electric slide with grandmas and grandpas and little children.”

Other crowd favorites that will make a return to the event this year include The Supergrit Cowboy Band (July 7), Panyelo (July 14), David Dyer and the Crooked Smile Band (July 21), Greenville Grass (July 28), The Donald Underwood Thompson Band (Aug. 11) and Molasses Creek (Aug. 18).

Newcomers to the concert series include the Pitt Community College Symphony Orchestra (June 16), The North Carolina Jazz and Blues Collaborative (June 23) and Spare Change (Aug. 4).

“Over the years, we’ve had all sorts of wonderful attractions,” Aronson said. “Every year I try to bring in two or three new groups, but I bring back, every year, mainstays who are so good that I could never replace them with anybody as good.”

Fittingly, Aronson’s swan song will be set to music. He penned a theme song for Sunday in the Park which he plans to debut this summer.

“I’m going to try and have it ready for the second of June,” said Aronson, who will sing the song himself. “I need to find an accompanist and somebody who will accompany me on keyboard and maybe do it at intermission, but definitely on Aug. 18 because that will be my bye-bye.”

Despite its shaky start, Sunday in the Park has become ingrained into the culture of this city, as much a part of summers here as noshing on a locally grown watermelon and enduring the oppressive heat and humidity.

“I had no idea (it would last 40 years),” Aronson said. “People, even after the first two or three years, said, ‘well, it isn’t going to last,’ but I’m very stubborn that way. I just was lucky early on to get the best entertainment I could get and I have stayed with that level of excellence and I’m hoping after I’m gone that they will continue the legacy that I will be leaving.”

Contact Natalie Sayewich at nsayewich@reflector.com or 252-329-9596.

via The Daily Reflector.

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May 312013
 

newyorktimes

By RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA

Published: May 30, 2013

Opponents of race-based affirmative action in college admissions urge that colleges use a different tool to encourage diversity: giving a leg up to poor students. But many educators see real limits to how eager colleges are to enroll more poor students, no matter how qualified — and the reason is money.

“It’s expensive,” said Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University. “You have to go out and identify them, recruit them and get them to apply, and then it’s really expensive once they enroll because they need more financial aid.”

The Supreme Court is expected to rule soon in a closely watched case over admissions at the University of Texas at Austin, and the court could outlaw any consideration of race.

Opponents of affirmative action welcome that prospect, arguing that race-conscious admissions favor minority applicants who are not disadvantaged, and people on both sides of the issue contend that colleges should do more to achieve socioeconomic diversity. Polls show that while most Americans oppose racial or ethnic preferences in college admissions, they also think colleges should give extra help to the poor.

Some states have already banned affirmative action, including California, Florida, Michigan and Washington, and in each of them, the selective public universities stepped up their efforts to recruit disadvantaged students, hoping to enroll more black, Hispanic and American Indian students in the process.

Opponents of race-conscious admissions say they expect similar moves across the country if the Supreme Court strikes down affirmative action.

But even in those race-blind states, highly selective public colleges vary widely in how hard they work to identify high-achieving, disadvantaged students and prepare them for college, how heavily they weight disadvantage in admissions, and how generous they are with financial aid. Not surprisingly, they also differ greatly in how many disadvantaged students they enroll — and the same is true among elite public and private schools that still do consider race and ethnicity.

Socioeconomic disadvantage can mean many things, like attending a low-performing high school or having parents who do not speak English, but one consistent measure available for nearly every American college is the number of students receiving Pell Grants, the main form of federal aid for low- and moderate-income students. In 2010-11, 35 percent of undergraduates going to four-year state colleges or private nonprofit colleges received Pell Grants. In general, the more selective the school, the lower that number was.

But in the University of California system, one of the most competitive in the country, more than 40 percent of students were Pell recipients, including 34 percent at Berkeley and 36 percent at Los Angeles, the two most selective campuses in the system. At the University of Michigan, which is similar in selectivity and prestige, and also operates under a ban on considering race, only 16 percent of undergraduates received Pell Grants.

So what accounts for the difference in the number of poor students enrolled in two similar elite public university systems, California’s and Michigan’s? Experts say that the level of state budget support, the intensity of recruitment efforts and other admissions decisions like legacy admissions are all factors.

One crucial factor is outreach programs, starting as early as the middle school years. Studies show that large numbers of talented low-income students are ill-prepared for college, or never apply to selective schools, as though those colleges and the students were invisible to each other.

California voters were the first to outlaw affirmative action, passing Proposition 209 in 1996, and in the following years, the University of California system expanded an already-robust set of programs to identify and nurture promising low-income students.

“Nobody else has had anything comparable,” except, at times, the University of Washington, said Deirdre Bowen, a law professor at the University of Seattle who has written extensively on affirmative action. “But it matters much more at highly selective places like Michigan and Virginia.”

Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Syracuse University and a former provost at Michigan, declined to comment on any particular school’s efforts, but said, “There’s no question that some institutions have done a better job than others of building relationships in disadvantaged communities, which takes years.”

In a written statement, the University of Michigan cited a long list of programs it operates in disadvantaged communities, but they are relatively small compared with California’s, and many of them have existed only since Michigan voters banned affirmative action in 2006.

“The university is strongly committed to diversity of all kinds in the student body, including socioeconomic diversity,” the university said, adding that the proportion of students at Michigan from low-income families has grown significantly in the last decade. “We are moving in the right direction.”

Another measure that increases the enrollment of disadvantaged students is accepting all top students from every high school, ensuring that low-income communities are well-represented. In areas with highly segregated schools, that has increased black and Latino enrollment in state universities. Texas, Florida and California have used this approach to varying degrees since they were barred from considering race; Michigan, like the elite schools that still have race-conscious admissions, has not.

Legacy admission — the practice of giving preference to the children of alumni or donors — overwhelmingly favors well-off, white students, leaving less room for poor students. Some schools, after dropping affirmative action for ethnic minorities, also dropped legacy preferences, notably Texas A&M and the University of Georgia. But Michigan’s legacy program continues.

Public universities, in particular, caution that differences in low-income enrollment can reflect factors they have little control over, like the relatively low poverty rate in Virginia, or the level of help they get from state governments. States vary widely in direct support for their universities, and in the financial aid they provide; by both measures, Michigan ranks near the bottom, a fact that the university cited in discussing its low number of disadvantaged students.

State universities affect their socioeconomic mix by deciding how often to admit out-of-state students, who pay much higher tuition, and are less likely to be poor — important considerations in an era of dwindling state support. Elite schools with national reputations could easily fill most of their seats from beyond their borders, but some choose to rely more heavily on that pool than others. Among U.S.-resident undergraduates, out-of-staters account for 11 percent at Berkeley, and 34 percent at Michigan.

An elite university’s openness to accepting transfers from other schools also influences its economic diversity, because many transfer applicants start at community colleges or other, less prestigious public colleges, where low-income students are more prevalent.

In California and Texas, public universities are unusually welcoming to transfer students who have earned good grades elsewhere; they do not ask to see high school grades, or SAT or ACT scores, and they actively recruit from community colleges. Transfers accounted for 35 percent of newly enrolled students at Berkeley last year, 25 percent at Texas-Austin, and well under 20 percent at Michigan.

At most top public schools, more than 90 percent of the financial aid supplied directly by the universities is based on financial need; at Michigan, it is 66 percent. But the university said that much of the aid that is, in name, “merit-based,” goes to students who also receive “need-based” aid, making up for the paucity of aid from their home state.

“We have a longstanding pledge to meet the full demonstrated financial need of Michigan resident undergraduates,” the university said, noting that it is “the only public institution in the state and one of just a handful in the country to do so.”

via College Slots for Poorer Students Still Limited – NYTimes.com.

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May 302013
 

 

POSTED: Thursday, May 30, 2013, 9:33 AM

Keith Pompey, Inquirer Staff Writer

The American Athletic Conference – you may know it as the Big East – unveiled its new logo Thursday.

Here’s more from the press release:

The creation of the logo and marks is a part of the ongoing branding of The American, formerly known as the Big East. The new logo features a simple, athletic letter A in red, white and blue, which each institution can customize with its own colors. The marks were created by LeslieAnne Wade and MadCreek Advertising.

“As with the creation of our name, we worked directly with our institutions, sports marketing experts, media partners and design agencies to create and evaluate a variety of logo options,” said Commissioner Mike Aresco. “We took our preferred marks to each institution within our conference for an open forum with school presidents, athletic directors and student athletes to get their input. The elegant, athletic and classic letter A with the unique star inside and AMERICAN underneath was unanimously chosen by every institution. We believe this bold mark and our series of ancillary marks will support our conference name and the values that our name represents. In addition, our partners at ESPN and CBS agree that its strength, simplicity and elegance will resonate well on TV,” concluded Aresco.

The process of creating and choosing a new logo is an important step in the rebranding process for the American Athletic Conference. From the unparalleled realignment of two athletic conferences, to securing multi-platform broadcast exposure with ESPN and CBS, to developing a new name, logo and overall identity, The American has undergone a unique, first-of-its-kind rebranding experience within college athletics.

The American Athletic Conference will assume its new name on July 1, when it will also launch the full version of its website at www.TheAmerican.org. Until then, TheAmerican.org will feature basic information on the Conference and its member schools.

Beginning with the 2014-15 academic year, The American will consist of the University of Central Florida, the University of Cincinnati, the University of Connecticut, East Carolina University, the University of Houston, the University of Memphis, Southern Methodist University, the University of South Florida, Temple University, Tulane University and the University of Tulsa. The U.S. Naval Academy will become a football-only member in 2015.

via New American Athletic Conference unveils logo.

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May 302013
 
charlotteobserver
prayerbreakfast_11

Davie Hinshaw – dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

State Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker and North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory share a laugh after Decker spoke at the Twenty-Sixth Annual YMCA Community Prayer Breakfast, Tuesday morning, April 30, 2013. Davie Hinshaw – dhinshaw@charlotteobserver.com

By John Frank

jfrank@newsobserver.com

Wednesday, May. 29, 2013

RALEIGH Gov. Pat McCrory’s top job recruiter offered new details about the administration’s strategy to revive the state’s economy Wednesday, telling lawmakers that North Carolina must streamline its efforts and return to its roots to reduce the high unemployment rate.

Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker said the administration’s plan to privatize major elements of the state’s economic development effort is needed to kickstart an idling economy with a 8.9 percent jobless rate, the nation’s fifth highest.

“Although we’ve spent a lot of money and we’ve done a lot of good work, the needle isn’t moving, so it says to me we’ve got to do things differently,” she said.

“As you look at the history of North Carolina, our core has been agri-business, manufacturing, small business and entrepreneurship,” she added. “In this plan … we’ll go back to our core, and that’s primarily how we will get out of this fiscal situation, by focusing on what we know and know well.”

The McCrory administration announced in early April a blueprint to refocus the state’s job-recruitment energies by consolidating regional and external entities and creating the N.C. Economic Development Partnership, a private nonprofit, to help guide the effort.

It’s the administration’s most comprehensive move yet to address the state’s economic situation. McCrory said in the 2012 campaign that he expects to see North Carolina’s unemployment rate fall lower than its neighbors at the end of his term and beat South Carolina after his first year in office. South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate for April is 8 percent, nearly a full percent better than North Carolina, according to federal figures.

Decker’s presentation came as the state released new unemployment data. The seasonally adjusted numbers show that unemployment improved in just 32 of the state’s 100 counties in April with another 20 constant since March. Graham County in the western part of the state has the highest jobless rate at 16.5 percent.

House lawmakers pressed Decker on how the new economic development strategy would help rural areas such as Graham that are experiencing chronically high unemployment.

“We don’t want to get lost in the shuffle because we don’t have a lot of voices,” said Rep. Chris Whitmire, a Brevard Republican.

Decker, who lives in economically depressed Rutherford County, assured lawmakers that “rural North Carolina needs to be at the center of the state’s focus.”

Creating prosperity zones

The proposal adopts a model advancing in a separate Senate bill that divides the state into eight “prosperity zones” to encourage regional collaboration. Each will develop its own economic development strategy in coordination with a statewide plan.

purplearrow James Kleckley, the Bureau of Business Research director at East Carolina University, said in an interview that he is worried about the commerce reorganization and the new zones.

“When you have a rural community, it may be somewhat more difficult to get attention,” he said. “It’s troublesome.

“In a lot of ways rural areas can face different hurdles than what you face in urban areas,” added Kleckley, who seasonally adjusts the county unemployment data. “Not just population loss but in difficulty of getting businesses to relocate there.”

The full details of the public-private partnership remain unclear as lawmakers and administration officials continue to meet behind closed doors to draft the enabling legislation. But Decker gave the House Commerce and Job Development Committee a more comprehensive outline of the effort, saying the bulk of the transition could take place by the end of the year.

Under the plan, the private partnership would assume the commerce department’s role in guiding tourism, travel and international trade development, as well as taking over responsibilities from regional economic development commissions.

Other outside entities, such as the N.C. Rural Center and part of the N.C. Biotechnology Center, could also move to the new private nonprofit, which would be governed by an oversight committee of political appointees. Decker envisions a more limited role for these organizations, saying they could operate under a state contract.

House lawmakers expressed concern about eliminating the regional partnerships in favor of these new zones. “My concern is we have a lot of really good things going,” said Rep. Susan Fisher, an Asheville Democrat. “If we are doing a good job, why should we have to reinvent them?”

A new brand for N.C.

A major component of the commerce overhaul is a new branding campaign for the state. Decker said she expects to hire an outside firm to do the work later this year and launch it in June 2014 to coincide with the U.S. Open golf tournaments in Pinehurst. “Millions of people around the world will have visibility to North Carolina, and it’s a perfect time to introduce that brand in a way that will be seen worldwide in one fell swoop and very effectively,” Decker said.

Republican lawmakers also pressed the issue of using taxpayer-funded incentives to help private business, a matter complicated by the new private partnership. “You have kind of this swirl of private and public money that concerns me,” said Rep. Chris Millis, a Hampstead Republican.

 

Frank: 919-829-4698
Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2013/05/29/4074251/commerce-chief-lays-out-plan-to.html#storylink=cpy

via Commerce chief lays out plan to create jobs in N.C. | CharlotteObserver.com.

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May 302013
 

A new study estimates that 44,000 in-flight emergencies occur worldwide each year.

By Nsikan Akpan, PhD | May 29, 2013 05:03 PM EDT

“Flying the friendly skies” takes a literal meaning in a report that shows on-board passengers come to the rescue in nearly half of all in-flight medical emergencies. The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is one of the first to collect this data from a majority of global airlines. The panel of doctors who composed the study were from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and purplearrowBrody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

Each year, 2.75 billion passengers are on commercial flights. This study reviewed the emergency medical calls from five domestic and international airlines, spanning from January 1, 2008 to October 31, 2010. The dataset represented 10 percent of the global passenger volume for this time period, and from it, researchers estimated that 44,000 in-flight emergencies occur worldwide each year

Although in-flight medical emergencies occur daily, they are rare when considered on a per-passenger basis, according to results. Only 16 out of every one million passengers required medical treatment while en route to their destination.

The chances of dying during a flight were very low (0.3 percent), and the three most common conditions were what you might expect while rocketing through low-oxygen high altitudes: fainting, respiratory complaints, and nausea. Fainting took the top spot and accounted for one-third of the 12,000 emergency calls. Most cases resolved on their own and didn’t require trips to the hospital upon landing.

When illness did strike, physicians volunteered their service 48 percent of time, even though they were traveling as fellow passengers and are not legally required to do so. On-board assistance was also provided by nurses, EMS providers, and other types of health care providers.

Overall, medical professionals acted as Good Samaritans in three out of four – or 9,000 – in-flight emergencies in this study.

“The 1998 Aviation Medical Assistance Act includes a Good Samaritan provision protecting passengers who offer medical assistance from liability, other than liability for gross negligence or willful misconduct,” wrote the authors, who also feel that health care workers “have a moral and professional obligation to act as Good Samaritans” when called upon.

Of the health providers who stepped into action, flights with Samaritan doctors were most likely to be diverted. Overall, diverted flights were rare – only 7 percent of all emergencies – which seems like a small inconvenience given that it could save a life.

Serious illness can occur, although infrequently, and cardiac arrest is an extremely dangerous condition to have while flying. Of the 38 documented incidents of cardiac arrest, 31 were fatal.

The Federal Aviation Administration requires all U.S. commercial airplanes to carry automated external defibrillators (AEDs), which are devices that can be used to jumpstart an ailing heart. Of the 38 heart attacks reported in this study, nine were restarted with AEDs and seven survived the episode, highlighting the importance of including these medical devices in emergency kits.

Source: Peterson DC, Martin-Gill C, Guyette FX, et al. Outcomes of Medical Emergencies on Commercial Airline Flights. The New England Journal of Medicine. 2013.

via Flying Samaritans: 48% Of In-Flight Medical Emergencies Handled By Physician Passengers : Consumer News : Medical Daily.

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