American Airlines Fails to Provide Sufficient Medical Equipment at 30,000 Feet

On a recent American Airlines flight from a vacation in Aruba, ten-year-old Luca had a near-fatal allergic reaction when he consumed a cashew mid-flight. After the incident, his mom, Francine Ingrassia, shared their experience on Facebook in the hopes that others do not end up in the same situation with a less fortunate outcome. To date, her post has had over 1,300 shares and 2,100 views.

Francine’s post is as follows:

I’m sharing my story to RAISE Awareness. My son had Serious Anaphylaxis symptoms on our flight home last night. He ate one cashew from the nut mix he was served on our flight and within minutes he had severe stomach pain , chest pain and stridor breathing. If it was not for the quick thinking stewardess on the plane. The nurse who administered the epi pen and cared for him the entire trip and passengers who gave us their epi pens this would have been fatal.

American Airlines had no epi-pens in their medical kits. We were not aware of any allergies that our son had with cashews before this flight. The pilots were prepared to do an emergency landing in the Dominican Republic.

The scariest thing was that American Airlines did not have an epi pen in their medical kits and served nuts on a plane? We need to change this. Shame on American Airlines for not having an epi pen in their medical kits.

I am forever grateful , Nurse Kelly who saved my sons life & sat with us the entire flight, the 2 passengers who gave us their epi pens, the quick thinking stewardess , the pilots and the paramedics who boarded the plane once we landed to check his vitals. Things could have been very different if it wasn’t for all these angels completely aligned. My heart is bursting and I thank God for watching over us.

Please feel free to share my story, together we can save lives.

According to individuals with severe food allergies, no two airlines handle their condition the same. Some airlines, like Delta, JetBlue, and Southwest, tend to be the most accommodating airlines. They often allow passengers to board early in order to sanitize seats and trays, and will make announcements and refrain from serving foods that contain ingredients that passengers are allergic to- which is most often peanuts.

According to injury lawyer John Cordisco from Cordisco Saile LLC,say “airlines that fail to provide basic medical equipment could find themselves in a wrongful death lawsuit should the passenger die in their care.” To date, there is no required list of supplies that airlines must carry. Most passengers with known allergies carry their own epi pen in case of a reaction. However, one never knows when a new allergy could surface. Hopefully airlines will take note of Luca’s close call, and take their responsibility for the health and well-being of their passengers more seriously in the future.

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Melissa Thompson

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.