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Man denied defibrillator because of chest hair

Man Denied Defibrillator Because Of Chest Hair

A New Mexico woman says her husband's hairy chest and a flight attendant's hesitation ultimately caused his death.

KOAT reports 62-year-old Jack Jordan suffered a heart attack during a Southwest Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Albuquerque. His wife Caroline says no one even reached for the defibrillator that was on the plane.

"The flight attendant that had been right up there with us said because his chest is too hairy."

Eventually, his chest was shaved and they used the device but it was too late.

Caroline said, "I don't expect the airlines or the flight attendants to be nurses or doctors, not anywhere close, but in that kind of a circumstance, one of the first things they should be doing is getting that AED hooked up."

AEDs are crucial instruments in situations like Jack's.

Earlier this year a man suffered a heart attack mid flight, but survived thanks to three passengers who performed CPR and an automatic external defibrillator. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration requires all flights to carry the devices, but it's not an international mandate so not every plane will have one on board.

Southwest Airlines is looking into the incident.

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Linda September 04 2014 at 6:43 AM

Hairy chest of not the delay cost the man his life. If hairy chests are a problem then ALL defibs should include disposable razors incase someone has a heart attack and has a hairy chest. There was no excuse for such a blunder that cost a man his life.

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41 replies
Joe September 04 2014 at 9:18 AM

That's bull crap I have used them several times on people with a lot more chest hair than that. They failed to do there job. Even so you at least have to try.

Flag Reply +57 rate up
9 replies
tequila1380 September 04 2014 at 8:51 AM

Most defibrillators are equipped with 2 sets of pads, therefore, 1 set can be used to literally rip out chest hair. That's one of the first things I learned in training. Then you can use the second set to apply the pads to the chest. It's sad that this man lost his life. :-(

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2 replies
rubyzadia tequila1380 September 06 2014 at 9:20 AM

Absolutely. I've been an EMT for almost 30 years. This is one of the first things they teach you in addition to the fact that there should always be disposable razors with the AED for just this reason. Either the attendant didn't know what to do or there is more to this story. First aid is about being creative and finding solutions - not denying treatment!

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KIRK tequila1380 September 06 2014 at 7:58 PM

I've been a paramedic for 25 yrs and have to ask what idiot taught you that defib pads can be used to rip out hair? sounds like someone with no practical street experience ( a wannabe) taught your class. as the other posters have stated------use the razor!

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3 replies
noteugene September 04 2014 at 7:05 AM

There are still laws on the book that state that it is criminal to just stand by & do nothing when it comes to the potential of saving or perseving life. I hope this attendant gets charged. That's just hearless. AND discriminatory. All of us smooth chested guys get saved but you hairy chested guys perish? Sounds like she's just making excuses for not doing her job or not knowing how to. If that's the case the airline needs to be sued.

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22 replies
cptfritz September 04 2014 at 6:48 AM

Fire the stupid woman, RIGHT NOW. And sue the crap outta her AND the airline.

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16 replies
zmystri September 04 2014 at 11:00 AM

I have to be recertified in CPR every 2 years.
ALL onsite defibs are supposed to have razors in them. However...using razors can take too long. We are taught the quickest way...IF there are extra pads, is to put one on the appropriate body sites and rip them off quick. It will take all the hair with it. Then reapply clean ones to start the defib process.

Flag Reply +28 rate up
2 replies
HI BEAUTIFUL zmystri September 06 2014 at 11:42 PM

You better get your money back that you paid for this class as who ever told you this is a moron and lied. If a person has an arrythmia that can be converted with a shock, just put the pads on and they will pick up a pulse if one is there or tell you to shock if it is a pattern that will be helped with the defib. And by the way, the pads will not take the hair off the way you think or what your quack instructor told you. There is nothing in any cpr book that says this should be done. If you find one from a reputable sourse, then please post it. This guy more than likely died because of a massive coronary or a ruptured aneurysm and nothing would help that. Get anothe CPR instructer and ask to see his certification and check to see if this is actually a licensed person to instruct.. In all my years in the medical profession, I never heard of something so strange.

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4 replies
katyclaire zmystri September 07 2014 at 11:21 PM

22 years firefighting and having done CPR hundreds of times and used an AED many times...ripping off the hair with the pads was never taught or considered. I've never heard of this. I guess if you were desperate but I honestly don't see the pads ripping off that much hair. You keep doing CPR while somebody else shaves.

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auntiem30sure September 04 2014 at 7:38 AM

Razor in AED kit is correct. No Excuse.

Flag Reply +24 rate up
2 replies
gschnauzer16 auntiem30sure September 06 2014 at 11:34 PM

SO true, dont blame the heart attack. they probably gave him the heart attack in the first place !

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1 reply
bigbart48 gschnauzer16 September 07 2014 at 5:31 PM

His years of over eating and probably smoking caused his heart attack. Medicine is not an exact science and some patients simply can not be saved no matter what. He was receiving CPR and after he was shaved they used the device. His wife is just trying to get money from a non medical attendant and the airlines. Just like the last idiot that sued the local cab company and lost,she will too.The airlines and the attendant are not responsible for sustaining his life,his doctor is.

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onemadashell auntiem30sure September 08 2014 at 9:46 AM


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fourprs September 04 2014 at 10:49 AM

There is no legal obligation to attempt to save a life, human or otherwise. HIS health condition killed him, not anything or anyone else, including the wife! Stop the insanity!
Even first responders can opt out if they fear X,Y,Z.

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15 replies
rudniski136 September 04 2014 at 2:41 PM

I took a course with defibrillators. a couple of years ago and nothing was ever said about hairy chests.

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4 replies
Michele September 04 2014 at 6:29 AM

She will be fired, if it can be proven that the FA did this...refused.

FA's are REQUIRED to go to refresher classes and thought they knew how to use one. Sounds like this FA may not have known how to use it. If so, why? She is trained for a reason.

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3 replies
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