Oct 11, 2019
(CNN) — Imagine having a life-threatening emergency while locked inside a metal container 35,000 feet above the ground, unable to leave or call 911 for desperately needed medical attention.
Now envision going through that frightening experience surrounded by medically untrained airline personnel or fellow passengers who don’t take you seriously or even block your access to medical help …
In May, Alexa Jordon was flying home to Chicago after her first year at Harvard.
She took a bite from a salad purchased at the Boston airport that was not supposed to contain any tree nuts, to which she is severely allergic.
Traveling alone and frightened, she told flight attendants that she was in anaphylactic shock and was going to the bathroom to use the only auto-injector she carried.
What happened next, Jordon said, was unbelievable.
Not only did the flight attendants fail to offer her additional epinephrine or antihistamines, they locked her inside the airplane bathroom for the remainder of the nearly three-hour flight.
“I was left alone … going in and out of consciousness sitting on the bathroom floor,” Jordon recalled. “My throat remained extremely tight, and I was terrified that it would not improve without a second shot.
“They should not have let me go in there alone,” Jordon said. “When you inject epinephrine, it has the potential to negatively impact your heart and can be very dangerous unmonitored.”
Alexa was lucky. She survived.
Fifteen-year-old Natasha Ednan-Laperouse did not. The teen died from anaphylactic shock after eating a sesame baguette that wasn’t labeled during a flight from London to Nice, France, in 2016.
Her father used the two auto-injectors he had on hand during the three-hour flight, but epinephrine wears off quickly, losing effectiveness in about 20 minutes. When she continued to decline, a doctor on board the plane stepped in to help … Read more.