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First Aid Training

First Aid Training

A theoretical approach to Flight Attendant Training carried out by major airline and flight attendant training institutes


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Whenever you have to clear your ears, remember that your customers should be doing the same thing. People unaccustomed to air travel may not be familiar with the necessary precautions.


Advise mothers to give infant a bottle or use a pacifier on ascent and descent so infant's ears will clear and not hurt.

Sleeping Customers

Be sure to awaken customers when the plane begins to descend for landing.

First Aid:

  • Continued jaw thrusting until ears pop
  • Yawning
  • Swallowing (provide beverage)
  • Afrin or other nasal spray.
  • Ammonia inhaling (especially for customers with head colds or sinus problems).
  • Valsalva method - Hold nostrils to form a airtight seal. Slowly and gently build up pressure in your nose as though you were blowing up a balloon. Use no more pressure than can fill your cheeks. This procedure is not recommended for anyone with a cold.
  • Chewing gum

In case of severe pain, suggest:

  • May give aspirin for pain (Adults only, do not give aspirin to children).
  • That the victim deplane; he runs the risk of a rupture.
  • Suggest that he consult a physician.

Indication of a rupture:

  • Sudden cessation of pain.
  • Bloody discharge; wipe from outer ear only.



  • Apathy
  • Blank expression
  • Crying
  • Nervous laughter
  • Moodiness
  • Irritability
  • Untidiness
  • Avoiding crowds
  • Overconfidence

First Aid:

  • Stay calm - notify Captain.
  • Be confident in your ability to handle the situation.
  • Use authority. Authority creates a feeling of security in people.
  • If bordering on hysterics, give maximum of four aspirin tablets and try to get victim to lie down and sleep.
  • Divert victim's attention away from anything that might be harmful to him or others.
  • Restrain physically only if victim seems likely to injure himself or others.

What not to do:

  • DO NOT scold or talk harshly unless necessary.
  • DO NOT give alcohol.
  • DO NOT slap or strike.



Epilepsy is a disorder that involves the nervous system, spinal column, and brain. It is characterized by severe and involuntary spasms.

Types of Epileptic Seizures:

PETIT MAL- A slight lapse of awareness.

GRAN MAL- A major seizure in which victim loses consciousness and experiences convulsive movements of the body.

Symptoms of Gran Mal Seizure:

  • Victim may have premonition or give a warning cry.
  • If sitting, victim will slump; If standing, victim will fall.
  • The face and lips will be discolored (blue or ashen gray).
  • The eyes will roll upward.
  • Victim may make some unintelligible sounds.
  • Violent involuntary muscle contractions over part or all of body.
  • Arms, legs, and head may jerk violently.
  • There may be frothing at the mouth. Victim may bite his tongue.
  • The face may be contorted.
  • Victim may lose consciousness.
  • Occasionally there is involuntary action of bowels and bladder.
  • NOTE: Usually after about two minutes, the discoloration and convulsive seizure will pass. There may be a gradual return of consciousness, but victim will not remember anything about the seizure. If there is a lengthy Gran Mal seizure (over 2 minutes in duration), and the customer's coloration continually remains blue when monitored, it may be necessary to administer oxygen, as brain damage may result if the person is not breathing adequately.

First Aid:

  • Put on latex gloves.
  • If possible, prevent the fall.
  • Make no effort to restrain the convulsive movements, but guide movements. Prevent injury to the victim by surrounding with padding (pillows, blankets, etc.) If attack occurs at seat, stand beside or behind seat to insure that victim does not fall on the floor.
  • When the convulsion is over, loosen tight clothing and turn victims head to the side so that any secretions will drain from the mouth.
  • Victim may be disoriented when coming out of seizure.
  • Place the victim in a comfortable position and allow to sleep. Cover with a blanket. Give no stimulants or alcohol.
  • Try in all ways to guard victim against embarrassment.
  • Administer 02,
  • Watch victim carefully for at least 30 minutes, as additional seizures are a possibility.
  • Remind victim to take his meditation.
  • Notify Captain.
  • Request medical attention only if necessary.



Disease of the heart and blood vessels. Many symptoms may be associated with a heart attack, and prompt medical attention may make the difference in damage to the heart muscle. All aircrew are trained to handle such situation during their flight attendant training program.


  • Dull aching chest pain
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Squeezing type chest pain
  • Heavy feeling on the chest
  • Aching in the shoulder, neck, arms or jaw
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness and profuse sweating
  • Indigestion

First Aid:

  • Ask victim if he has medication and assist him in taking it. Heart patient should have nitroglycerin pills, a nitroglycerin patch, or nitroglycerin spray. The pills are to be placed under the tongue. The patch should be placed on a hairless part of the upper body. The spray should also go under the tongue.
  • Reassure him and don't mention the words "heart attack".
  • Administer oxygen.
  • Loosen tight clothing.
  • Get medical attention as soon as possible.
  • Note time and length of attack and time between attacks if more than one.
  • If breathing stops, begin Rescue Breathing.
  • If breathing and pulse stop, begin CPR.


Not a life threatening situation, but if not treated will lead to a heat stroke.


  • Usually perspires a great deal
  • Moist, clammy skin, usually pale
  • Pupils dilated
  • Normal or subnormal temperature
  • Weak, dizzy or faint
  • Headache
  • No appetite, nausea

First Aid

  • Give sips of liquids containing high salt content, (i.e, tomato juice, diet cola, club soda) every fifteen minutes for 3 or 4 doses.
  • Recline victim's seat; direct airflow.
  • Loosen tight clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet cloaks.
  • If victim vomits, do not give him any more liquids.


Heat stroke is a life threatening situation.


  • No perspiration
  • Dry hot skin, usually red
  • Pupils constricted
  • Very high body temperature
  • May become unconscious
  • Pulse strong and rapid

First Aid:

  • Cool victim quickly; soak or sponge person with cool water. Need to cool trunk of body as well as arms and legs.
  • Stop cooling and observe for ten minutes. If temperature starts to rise again, cool the victim again.
  • Do not give coffee, tea, or alcoholic beverages.
  • Have victim rest and get medical attention as soon as possible.




  • Over-breathing due to nervous, fright or emotional upset. The exception is hiccups.


  • Rapid and deep breathing
  • Dizziness and faintness
  • Numbness and tingling in the extremities
  • Muscular spasms of hands and feet
  • Blurring of vision
  • Loss of balance and ability to think clearly
  • Loss of consciousness (extreme cases)

First Aid:

  • Reassure customer and instruct him to breathe slowly; or
  • Instruct him to hold his breath for a few seconds; or
  • Breath in a coached manner; or
  • If victim insists on receiving oxygen, place the mask over his nose and mouth, but do not turn on oxygen.



  • Insufficient amount of oxygen in the body cells and tissues.

The undesirable side effects to be discussed here, affect different people at different attitudes and under different circumstances depending upon each person's physical make-up/condition. There is a remote possibility that some individuals may be stricken in a normally pressurized aircraft: however, the most common occurrence of these maladies is following a decompression and as a result of the rapid increases and decreases of pressure on the body surfaces.


  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Listlessness
  • Judgement and vision impaired
  • Overconfident, though poorly coordinated
  • Euphoria - victim is unaware that he is in trouble
  • Personality change
  • Loss control of hands
  • Cyanosis - victim turns blue around mouth, fingernails and ear lobes
  • Unconsciousness
  • NOTE: The main danger of hypoxia lies in the fact that the victim becomes euphoric and is completely unaware of his own symptoms.

First Aid:

  • Must have oxygen. Recovery from hypoxia is usually within 15 seconds after oxygen is administered.
  • Time of useful consciousness:
  • 22,000 feet = 5 - 10 minutes
  • 25,000 feet = 3 - 5 minutes
  • 28,000 feet = 2-1/2 - 3 minutes
  • 30,000 feet = 1 - 2 minutes
  • 35,000 feet = 30 - 60 seconds
  • 40,000 feet = 15 - 20 seconds
  • NOTE: These figures relate to non-smoking adults. Smokers, anemic individuals, infants, as well as those with respiratory problems, will experience the effects of hypoxia sooner, and to a greater degree. If the Flight Attendant is working, the time of useful consciousness is shortened because of the increased oxygen consumption.

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