Crusade led by AFA in response to Opioid Crisis
Some (all?) airlines adding Naloxone to Emergency Medical Kits voluntarily
FAA, in midst of tortuous rule-making process, asks airlines to add the life-saver
WASHINGTON (October 22, 2019) — In response to advocacy by the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) and Members of Congress, the Federal Aviation Administration told lawmakers it agrees that passenger aircrafts should carry “opioid antagonists – naloxone – in emergency medical kits.”
“We’re thrilled that the FAA has agreed that responding to opioid overdoses with life saving medication like naloxone is essential and should be included in Emergency Medical Kits onboard,” said Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, representing 50,000 Flight Attendants at 20 airlines.
“AFA has been raising this as a critical issue to the FAA. Passenger medical emergencies have and will continue to include opioid overdoses. Aviation’s First Responders need to have the tools to save lives. We look forward to working with the FAA to get this implemented with proper training as soon as possible.”
Before Administrator Dickson’s letter, Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines volunteered to include the life-saving injection kits in their EMKs.
This is a significant action in terms that some (all?) of the airlines have VOLUNTARILY responded to the requests by consumers, groups, the press and their representatives. By deciding unilaterally to add naloxone to their onboard resources, the air carriers’ passenger safety was enhanced faster than any statute or regulation.
Here are a few of the actions which inspired the inclusion of this medicine:
The Akron-Canton Airport recently installed seven NaloxBox units — emergency kits stocked with doses of the opioid-overdose reversal drug naloxone — to help save lives in the minutes before first responders arrive on the scene. The kits are a partnership with the Green Drug Task Force.
The good news is that the risk of onboard overdose deaths is reduced. Thanks to AFA.
 .The letter has several paragraphs outlining all of the steps that the FAA is taking to COMPEL the inclusion of naloxone and notes time will be required in order for a FAR amendment. Since air carriers may voluntarily carry additional medications in their aircraft emergency medical kits, the FAA will seek to encourage the expeditious and voluntary inclusion of opioid antagonists in the kits prior to the effective date of a final rule.”
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