Are You Ready for Take Off: Managing In-Flight Medical Emergencies




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Course Description

In-flight Medical Emergencies (IME) are quite common, occurring 1 in every 604 flights. In 7-13% of the time, an IME results in a diversion with the most common conditions including cardiac, neurological and respiratory problems. It is common to have at least one physician on a commercial airline flight, with half of IME aid being from a doctor. (Peterson et al., 2013; Dowdall, 2000; Martin-Gill et al., 2018). Behavioral emergencies in those with the autism spectrum disorders have also occurred inflight. Providing care with this vulnerable population requires knowledge of specific skills. In a multicenter survey, fourth-year medical students did not feel adequately prepared to respond to in-flight medical emergencies and may have sub-optimal knowledge (Katzer et al., 2014). 
These modules will engage learners in active learning through the demonstration of the cases of the Good Samaritan providing care in a real world environment. Given the unique opportunity to film on a plane, learners are offered a view of how logistically care would be rendered. The learners will gain an appreciation of the physical constraints, noise and privacy barriers that one encounters while on an aircraft. Furthermore, this module will cover legal considerations as discussed by an attorney volunteering for the project as well as providers with expertise in neurodiversity.

Tobias, J., Ross, W., Kim, J., & Phillips, L. (2020). Are you Ready for Take Off: Impact of Learning Module for Managing In-Flight  Medical Emergencies.

Successful Completion

To successfully complete this activity, complete the three modules and the required activity evaluation.

Target Audience

This course is designed for all licensed healthcare providers.

Learning Objectives

Following completion of this activity, learners will be able to:

  1. Discuss the concepts of in-flight medical emergencies (IME).
  2. Explain the challenges someone with autism might experience in-flight.
  3. Employ strategies to assist someone with autism during an in-flight emergency.
  4. Discuss the legal considerations when responding to an in-flight medical emergency in an aircraft registered with the United States. 
Additional information
Jefferson Content Development By: 
Sidney Kimmel Medical College (SKMC)
Jefferson College of Nursing
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH)
Content Areas: 
Critical Care
Disparities in Healthcare
Emergency Medicine
Family Medicine
Internal Medicine
Patient Safety
Primary Care
Teaching Healthcare Professionals
Course Format: 
Online Activity
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.25 Attendance
  • 1.25 CNE
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Commercial/In-Kind Support

This educational activity received no commercial or in-kind support.

Recording and Photography Strictly Prohibited

Unauthorized recording or photography at a Jefferson-sponsored event is strictly prohibited. Individuals found violating this policy will be removed from the online activity or asked to leave from the live activity. No credits or refund will be issued.





Conflict of Interest

Thomas Jefferson University endorses the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support: Standards to Ensure Independence in CME Activities and the policies that supplement the Standards. All planners, faculty, authors, presenters, and content reviewers are required to disclose any relevant financial relationships with ACCME defined commercial interest entities within the past 12 months. Any conflict of interests have been resolved prior to this educational activity.

Exception: According to the Standards, it is not required to identify, mitigate, or disclose relevant financial relationships for any of the following activities:

  • Accredited education that is non-clinical, such as leadership or communication skills training.
  • Accredited education where the learner group is in control of content, such as a spontaneous case conversation among peers.
  • Accredited self-directed education where the learner controls their educational goals and reports on changes that resulted, such as learning from teaching, remediation, or a personal development plan.

Planning Committee

Lara Phillips, MD-Activity Director
Wendy Ross, MD
Jennifer Kim, MD
Jane Tobias, DNP, CPNP-PC


Lara Phillips, MD
Wendy Ross, MD
Jennifer Kim, MD
Jane Tobias, DNP, CPNP-PC
Donna Nadel Kramer, JD

Off‐label/Investigational Use

All faculty/presenters/authors at Thomas Jefferson University sponsored events are required to disclose whether or not their content contains information of commercial products/devices that are unlabeled for use or investigational uses of products not yet approved. Product(s) is/are not included in the labeling approved by the U.S. FDA for the treatment of disease(s).

This educational activity has no off-label/investigational use discussions.

Content Disclaimer

The views expressed in this activity are those of the faculty. It should not be inferred or assumed that they are expressing the views of any manufacturer of pharmaceuticals or devices or Thomas Jefferson University.

It should be noted that the recommendations made herein with regard to the use of therapeutic agents, varying disease states, and assessments of risk, are based upon a combination of clinical trials, current guidelines, and the clinical practice experience of the participating presenters. The drug selection and dosage information presented in this activity are believed to be accurate. However, participants are urged to consult all available data on products and procedures before using them in clinical practice.


The planning committee would like to acknowledge those individuals who helped in the making of the videos.

Thomas Jefferson UniversityUnited Airlines

Dianne Salter
Executive VP Corporate Insurance Services

Donna Kramer

Andrea M. Kahn-Kothmann
Legal Department

Sabra Townsend
Director of Operations, Center for Autism and Neurodiversity

Susan McCaughey
Administrator, Center for Autism and Neurodiversity

Nick Coffey
TJU Marketing Manager

Brandon Lausch
Director of News and Media Relations

Jenn Kim, MD
Graduated Sidney Kimmel Medical College, Family Medicine Resident UC Irvine

Patrick Gilligan

Patrick Monaghan

Viraj Patwardhan
Director Digital Consumer Experience, Digital Innovation and Consumer Experience (DICE)

Giao Dang
Media Communication Manager, DICE

Travis Huhn
Videographer, DICE

Evan Galiffa
Videographer, DICE

Devon Voelkel
DICE subcontractors

Dominic Zapalla
DICE subcontractors


John Kirn
Manager International Planning and Regulatory Affairs, Customer Strategy and Innovation

Ophelia Dames
General Manager

Mick Masuka
Managing Director, Creative Services

Johnny Walker

Rachel Clifton

Christopher Johnson

Matthew Olans

Musa Touray

Daphne Thompson
Administrative Assistant


Brooke Verost
Flight Attendant

Lisette Specht
Flight Attendant

Brandon Hubbard

Jacob Ross

William del Toro

Betsy Ruiz

Meghan Sears







Accreditation support of improving patient care, Thomas Jefferson University is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.


Credit Designation

Physicians: This educational activity is designated for a maximum of 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses: This activity awards 1.25 nursing contact hours.

Other Healthcare Professionals: This educational activity is designated for 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Participants should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Approval Period

Start Date: July 15, 2021
End Date: July 14, 2023

Available Credit

  • 1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit
  • 1.25 Attendance
  • 1.25 CNE


Please login or register to take this course.
Registration TypeFee
Jefferson physicians, nurses, other healthcare providersFree
Non-Jefferson physicians, nurses, other healthcare providers$10

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