Cabin crew member about Pret allergy inquest: A defibrillator wouldn’t have worked on landing

Cabin crew member on Pret allergy inquest: A defibrillator wouldn’t have worked on landing

Friday, September 28, 2018

Cabin Crew Member Ally Murphy has said that the defibrillator on the plane of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse would not have worked on landing.

Ms Ednan-Laperouse, aged 15, died from a sesame seed allergy after eating a sandwich from Pret A Manger on a British Airways plane.

This comes as a coroner, at an inquest to her death, said he was "struggling" to see why the full range of medical kit on a British Airways plane was not offered when a teenage girl suffered a fatal allergic reaction to a Pret A Manger sandwich.

Ms Murphy, who worked for as a cabin crew member, told talkRADIO’s Eamonn Holmes: “I have been in that situation because I had a gentleman who was in cardiac arrest on landing and unfortunately the defibrillator won’t work on landing on the aircraft.

“It will detect that it is not a safe position, it could be too bumpy and the shock won’t be given appropriately.

“Unfortunately most cabin crew, there the ones who are trained on it, will know that the defibrillator won’t physically work on landing.

“I continued CPR on landing and I did get injured myself but that was my choice.

“It was against protocol.”  

 

‘That doesn’t sound safe’

Coroner Dr Sean Cummings also said he does not find it "entirely logical" that there was a defibrillator at the back of the aircraft but other medical equipment at the front.

He was speaking at an inquest into the death of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, 15, who collapsed on a BA flight from London to Nice in July 2016 after suffering a fatal reaction to a Pret sandwich.

She had been on her way to a four-day break in France with her father and best friend when she bought an artichoke, olive and tapenade baguette as they passed through Heathrow Airport's Terminal 5.

The inquest at West London Coroner's Court has heard that the on-board defibrillator was not used in-flight as it was situated at the back of the plane and it would have been too dangerous to get it from the other end of the aircraft when Natasha went into cardiac arrest minutes before landing.

Dr Cummings said: "I'm struggling a little bit with why the full range of kit wasn't made available to Dr Pearson-Jones or why he wasn't made aware of it."

Thomas Pearson-Jones was a junior doctor on the flight.

The coroner added: "That sounds to me like a quantum leap in terms of the judgments that your crew are being asked to make.

"That doesn't sound safe to me."

 

‘The coverage of doors takes priority’

The teenager, from Fulham, south-west London, suffered from numerous allergies and reacted badly to sesame seeds "hidden" in the bread, which caused her throat to tighten and vicious red hives to flare up across her midriff, eventually triggering cardiac arrest.

Two epipens were jabbed into her legs, but the symptoms did not abate and she was declared dead the same day at a hospital in Nice.

British Airways cabin crew have already been questioned over their response after the inquest heard that the on-board defibrillator was not used in-flight.

Mario Ballestri, who helped Dr Thomas Pearson-Jones as he performed CPR on Natasha, said it would have been too dangerous to get the device from the other end of the aircraft when she went into cardiac arrest minutes before landing.

Head of cabin crew John Harris was also asked why BA staff had not got the defibrillator.

Mr Harris said: "Without sounding harsh, the coverage of doors takes priority."

 

'We will learn from this' 

The Chief Executive of Pret A Manger released a statement saying "meaningful change" would come from Natasha's death. 

Clive Schlee, Chief Executive of Pret A Manger said: “We are deeply sorry for Natasha’s death. We cannot begin to comprehend the pain her family have gone through and the grief they continue to feel.

"We have heard everything the Coroner and Natasha’s family have said this week. And we will learn from this.

"All of us at Pret want to see meaningful change come from this tragedy. We will make sure that it does.”