A newlywed nurse died on an American Airlines flight after suffering an embolism and passing out in the bathroom while the pilot refused to divert the plane despite an onboard doctor’s pleas to land, it has been claimed.
Brittany Oswell died three days after the flight from Hawaii to Texas in April 2016.
She was on the plane with her military husband Cory and were on their way home to South Carolina.
After passing out several times on the plane, her pulse stopped while flight attendants and a doctor gave her CPR in the plane galley after pleading with the captain to make an emergency landing.
They refused to numerous times after speaking to an on-call doctor on the ground, it is claimed.
When the plane finally landed in Dallas, four hours after she first passed out, she was unconscious. She was taken to hospital but was declared brain dead three days later with the cause of death given as cardiac arrest prompted by a pulmonary embolism.
Now, her husband and parents are suing the airline, claiming it could have prevented her death by getting her the help she needed sooner.
Brittany and her husband had been married for less than a year when she died.
On April 15, 2016, they boarded their flight in Hawaii, where he was stationed in the military, at 8pm.
Three hours into the flight, Brittany became ‘disoriented and dizzy’.
Flight attendants watched her as she slurred her speech then fainted, according to a lawsuit filed by her family last week.
She quickly regained consciousness but, around an hour or two later, she went to the bathroom and passed out after vomiting and defecating on herself.
The doctor who had examined her first then urged the pilot to divert the plane so that she could get medical attention but, according to the woman’s family, they refused.
When Brittany got on the plane, she stepped into her coffin. It’s a tragedy – Family lawyer Brad Cranshaw
As the plane flew on towards Texas, the crew and doctor moved her from the bathroom to the galley to try to wake her up.
She regained consciousness again, they said, but when the doctor tried to measure her blood pressure, the equipment was faulty and would not take a reading.
The lawsuit claims that the flight captain was asleep during the first portion of the ordeal and had to be ‘wakened’ before they spoke to the doctor.
After being summoned to the flight deck where they reported the seriousness of her condition, the pilot consulted with an on-call American Airlines doctor on the ground then decided to carry on flying to Texas which would take another 90 minutes.
Five minutes later, the doctor returned to the galley where Brittany remained.
It was then, her family claims, that her pulse stopped and she stopped breathing.
The doctor tried to perform CPR and use a defibrillator to revive her but claims no shock came out of the pads as it should, the lawsuit claims.
‘After Brittany’s pulse stopped, the doctor and the flight attendants placed the AED pads on Brittany’s chest and attempted to turn on the current.
‘However… the AED reported that no shock was administered despite three attempts. The plaintiffs are informed and believe the doctor and the flight attendants then took turns administering CPR to Brittany.’