Investigations Underway After Passenger Collapses and Dies at Guyana Airport

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tuesday January 7, 2020 – Health authorities in Guyana have denied reports that the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) had no defibrillator or staff appropriately trained to assist when an American Airlines passenger collapsed – and later died – on Sunday.

It has insisted that “all necessary protocols were followed and executed in a manner with the hope of a better outcome”, but the man did not make it.

The passenger, said to be between the ages of 50 and 60, collapsed while boarding an American Airlines flight early Sunday morning. The Ministry of Public Health said it had received reports that several attempts were made to resuscitate the passenger who was later pronounced dead at the Diamond Diagnostic Centre.

Refuting a letter to the editor that was published in yesterday’s edition of the Kaieteur News, the ministry said reports received from the Port Health Officer show that best efforts were made by the licensed health care provider on duty to save the passenger’s life.

Giving details of what had transpired, the ministry said the passenger complained to his wife about feeling unwell on his way to the boarding gate, before deciding to use his self-care nebulizer since he is asthmatic.

It was shortly after that he collapsed and at 1:30 a.m. the Port Health Officer received a call from the airport duty office about the emergency.

“The officer was on the scene by 1:33 a.m., equipped with an emergency bag. Reports say another passenger had already begun to perform CPR on the unresponsive passenger. The officer then took over and an Automated External Defibrillator was used in an attempt to resuscitate the passenger. He, however, remained unresponsive,” the ministry stated.

The passenger was then transferred to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre for further evaluation and confirmation of unresponsiveness. He was examined by the doctor in charge and subsequently pronounced dead.

In addition to being asthmatic, the patient’s medical history indicated that he was also hypertensive. A police investigation is ongoing.

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