A few days ago, we reported on Carine Desir, an AA passenger who died aboard a flight between Haiti and New York. American has been investigating the incident, the Associated Press reports, and the case is turning into a "he said/she said" scenario.
While the family claims Desir's needs weren't attended to in a timely fashion, Charley Wilson, an AA spokesman, stands by the professionalism and aptitude of the crew.
Desir had heart disease and diabetes, and was having trouble breathing. There seems to be some confusion regarding her request for oxygen because she was a diabetic, given that oxygen isn't typically used for such a condition.
Despite initial claims that the onboard equipment wasn't working properly, Joel Shulkin, a doctor aboard the flight, claims the defibrillator was in fact operational. He could not verify if the oxygen equipment provided the necessary oxygen, just that two canisters were used. According to Wilson, Desir's requests for help were attended to, and by the time the defibrillator was used, her heartbeat was too weak for any impact. A medical examination determined Desir died from heart disease- and diabetes-related complications.
I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this case. Currently, the FAA's Air Surgeon's Office will be discussing the incident with airline officials. Expect additional reports as more information is released.
And in the interim— if you know you have a condition that could be aggravated if you fly, carefully consider your mode of transportation.