AAPA’s Response to American Airlines

AAPA’s letter to American Airlines regarding their in-flight medical emergencies procedure

February 9, 2018

Doug Parker
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
American Airlines Group Inc.
4333 Amon Carter Boulevard
Fort Worth, TX 76155

Dear Mr. Parker,

The American Academy of PAs (AAPA) was troubled to learn of a recent in-flight health emergency in which a licensed nurse practitioner (NP) was denied access to the on-board medical kit when they attempted to respond to the medical emergency.  As a physician assistant (PA) and frequent traveler, I am keenly aware that time is of the essence during any medical emergency.  To think about a scenario in which someone is denied critical medical care by certain healthcare professionals – such as PAs and NPs –is simply untenable and inexcusable.

As the national organization representing more than 123,000 PAs – state-licensed medical providers practicing in every state and in every medical setting and specialty – we urge you to remedy this situation to ensure no passenger is denied access to the high-quality care that PAs and NPs provide.

You should know that after hearing about this incident from our NP colleagues, many of our members shared personal experiences in which they were able to help passengers in need during in-flight emergencies on other airlines. Many were shocked to learn they may not have had access to the necessary equipment had they been traveling on American Airlines.

For the sake of the hundreds of thousands of people who fly American Airlines daily, we hope you will take the necessary steps to ensure your passengers are not denied the critical and timely care PAs and NPs provide should an in-flight emergency occur.

I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.


Gail Curtis signature

President and Chair of the Board

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