Health

Stuck at Oakland In’tl Airport? Learn to save a life

Courtesy American Heart Association

Oakland International Airport has joined the list of airports where passengers waiting for their flights can learn to save a life.

In partnership with the American Heart Association, OAK airport now hosts two hands-only CPR training kiosks which offer travelers an easy, five-minute course in how to save help someone who is having a heart attack.

Each kiosk has a touch screen with a short video that provides an overview of Hands-Only CPR, followed by a practice session and a 30-second test. With the help of a practice mannequin, or a rubber torso, the kiosk gives feedback about the depth and rate of compressions, as well as proper hand placement – which are the key factors that influence the effectiveness of CPR.

Instructions are offered in English or Spanish and include closed captioning.

At OAK, there’s one CPR training kiosk in Terminal 2, near Gate 27 and another in Terminal 1, near Gate 8.

Not at OAK? There are 14 additional kiosks at airports across the United States, including at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Orlando International Airport, Dallas -Fort Worth International Airport, Indianapolis International Airport, Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and several others.

 

Don’t just sit there: learn CPR at these airports

Hands-only CPR training unit at Chicago O’Hare Airport

As helpful airport amenities go, Hands-Only CPR training kiosks can be lifesavers.

The American Heart Association already has these machines at six airports:

  • O’Hare International Airport (ORD): Terminal 2 by Gates E1, E2 and E3
  • Indianapolis International Airport (IND): Terminal A, Gate 8
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL): Concourse A between Gates A11 and A15
  • Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI): Concourse B, Gate B7
  • Dallas Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW): Terminal E between E21 and E31
  • Harrisburg International Airport (MDT): Concourse B

Now three more machines are coming online:

  • Cleveland Hopkins International: behind the Central Checkpoint – starting July 24
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International: Concourse A, Gates A6-A22 – starting Aug 1
  • Orlando International Airport: entrance to the Main Food Court.

The machines offer a five-minute course in the Hands-Only CPR technique and can really help save lives: more than 350,000 cardiac arrests occur outside the hospital each year and about 20 percent occur in public places such as airports. Performing CPR right away can double or triple a victim’s chance of surviving.

Each kiosk has a touch screen with a short video that provides an overview of Hands-Only CPR, followed by a practice session on a rubber torso and a 30-second test.  The kiosk gives feedback on hand placement and the depth and rate of  compresssions.

Not sure this works? In 2016 Matt Lickebrock spent 5 minutes learning the CPR technique on a machine at DFW International Airport in 2015 and few days later learned his new skill to save the life of his buddy, Sean Ferguson after he was struck by lightning in a parking lot at the University of Dayton. That’s Ferguson in the pic below learning the technique too.

Photos courtesy American Heart Association

 

Airline industry, non-profits save lives with flights

Airbus Foundation

Courtesy Airbus Foundation

Airlines are reporting profits and being urged to join humanitarian efforts to help plug a $15 billion funding hole in global disaster relief.

The call comes on the heels of a United Nations report that found while at least $40 billion in annual humanitarian aid is needed annually to help victims of natural disasters and armed conflicts worldwide, today the world spends only $25 billion a year on securing and getting food, water, shelter, medical supplies, support teams and other emergency resources to people in need.

That’s twelve times the amount spent 15 years ago, the report notes. But with so many in need now, new disasters cropping up all the time and the high costs associated with rushing humanitarian relief to where it will do the most good, creative solutions are needed.

And that’s where alliances between airlines, aircraft manufactures and a variety of non-governmental organizations come in.

Through its foundation, aircraft manufacturer Airbus has been filling some otherwise empty, new aircraft being delivered to customers from its factories in Hamburg, Germany and Toulouse, France with humanitarian relief supplies destined for disaster-hit regions and communities in need.

“The flights are happening anyway and the pilots and the fuel are already paid for,” said
Airbus Foundation spokeswoman Deborah Waddon, “The NGOs arrange for the cargo, we make donations for the cost of the cargo, the loading is often done for free and the airlines cover just an incremental fuel cost for the extra cargo.”

Since 2008, airlines such as Emirates, JetBlue, South African Airways, Thai Airways, Vietnam Airlines and a handful of others have worked with Airbus on at least 30 delivery flights that have brought more than 250 tons of humanitarian relief to areas of Nepal, Columbia, Thailand, Africa and Haiti. On more than 15 occasions, Airbus has also used its test planes to deliver additional supplies quickly in the aftermath of disasters.

For example, a test aircraft loaded with 50 humanitarian staff and about 22 tons of food and medical aid flew to Nepal in 2015 after the devastating earthquake. And a Nepal Airlines aircraft delivery flight was used to transport more than five ton of relief goods and medical equipment to Kathmandu.

“Transporting supplies is one of our main expenses, so this way we can support more people,” said Olaug Bergseth, a senior officer for corporate partnerships with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, one of the NGOs that works closely with Airbus. “It’s faster, it’s more efficient and it’s cheaper.”

Courtesy Boeing

 

Through its Humanitarian Delivery Flight program, the Boeing Company also works with nonprofit and NGOs to load everything from medical supplies and clothing to educational materials into the empty cargo space of new airplanes for transport and delivery to areas of need.

Since 1992, Boeing’s program has made 180 humanitarian delivery flights, working with more than 50 airline customers to deliver more than 1.4 million pounds of supplies.

At least 26 of those humanitarian delivery flights have been on Ethiopian Airlines, which has also helped its neighbor, Somalia, by bringing back needed supplies.

“These flights have helped transform lives with their precious cargo,” said Bill McSherry, vice president of Government Operations at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

Airlink worked with Avianca Airlines to get earthquake relief supplies to Ecuador

Courtesy Airlink

Delivery flights don’t always get relief supplies exactly where they need to go, so Boeing often teams up with Airlink, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit disaster relief organization that works with more than 35 airlines and more than 60 NGOs, to transport supplies and relief workers.

“We focus a lot on disaster response, but also on what you might call slow-burn events, such as an education program in Africa that is teaching children not to play with land mines and other remnants of war,” said Airlink Executive Director Steven Smith.

Smith notes that since more than 60 percent of humanitarian funding goes to supply chain costs, the transportation and coordination services airlines and Airlink provide can help NGOs stretch budgets and be more effective.

During the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa, for example, Airlink sent healthcare workers and 100 shipments of aid for 37 different NGOs using 11 airlines.

And more recently, Airlink used donated miles and funds from Air Canada, Alaska Airlines and United Airlines to send 19 military veterans from Team Rubicon USA and Team Rubicon Canada to Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada to help out residents returning home after devastating wildfires destroyed more than 2,400 homes.

(My story about airline industry efforts to help save lives first appeared on CNBC in a slightly different form.)

 

MSP claims 1st airport chiropractic clinic

MSP CHIROPORT

Traveling puts a lot of stress on bodies and spas offering relaxing massages are now a welcome amenity at many airports.

But Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport now has a new service for aching muscles, sore backs and cricked necks: an in-airport chiropractic clinic.

The Chiroport (get it?), on Concourse C, near Gate 12, opened in April 2016 and offers walk-up service – although you can text “chiromsp” at 612-294-7739 and find out how long you’d need to wait to be seen.

Chiroport image

The cost for an exam, muscle work and a full spine adjustment is $39. Insurance is not accepted, but customers may use HSA and SFA savings accounts or a major credit card to pay.

Germiest rides to the airport

My story this week for CNBC will have you reaching for the hand sanitizer next time you hail a taxi, rent a car or use a ride-hailing service such as Uber or Lyft because a recent study found that – no surprise – the surfaces passengers come in contact with most often are full of germs.

A swab-carrying team from insurance comparison site NetQuote took samples from seat belts, door handles and window buttons on three random taxis and ride-hailed vehicles and the steering wheel, gear shift and seat belts in three random rental cars.

The testing was done in South Florida, and while testers expected taxis to yield the highest amount of bacteria, when lab results came back with counts for the number of colony-forming units (CFUs) and bacteria present, it was actually ride-hailed cars that turned out to be the germiest.

The study found more than 6 million CFUs per square inch on average, while rentals averaged a much smaller amount of 2 million CFU/sq. in. Taxis had an average of just more than 27,000 CFU/sq. in.

“To put it in perspective,” the report notes, “rideshares averaged almost three times more germs than a toothbrush holder,” the study said, while the number of microorganisms in both rideshares and rental cars was more than those found on toilet seats and in coffee pot reservoirs.

The research team did not single out which ride-hailing companies it tested, “in the interest of not characterizing specific companies unfairly,” according to a spokesperson.

An Uber representative said the company doesn’t directly inspect cars for cleanliness. However, Uber said its two-way feedback system — where riders and drivers rate one another after each ride — is the main method through which vehicle cleanliness is noted and addressed. If a driver’s car is dirty, they’ll likely get poor ratings and hear about it from local Uber teams, the spokesperson added.

No one from Lyft responded to my request for comment.

Not all germs are harmful, of course, but high bacteria levels increase the chance that harmful microorganisms are present. And some potentially harmful germs, such as bacillus, cocci and yeast, showed up repeatedly in the samples.

Although taxis were the cleanest rides of the three tested, they were by no means free of germs.

The swabs taken in taxis showed that the most germ-filled surfaces were seat belts, with 26,000 CFU/sq. in. Meanwhile, seat belts in rideshares had 38 times more bacteria.

Taxi door handles had 1,570 CFU/sq. in., around 55 times more bacteria than in a typical car door handle, the study notes, while taxi window buttons were surprisingly clean, with just 23 CFU/sq. in.

In the rental cars tested, both the steering wheels and gear shifts had more than 1 million CFU/sq. inch, while the seat belts showed a relatively low rate of 403 CFU/sq. in.

How can you avoid the germs?

“When you rent a car, take a moment to wipe key surfaces such as the steering wheel and gear shift with a soap-based wipe before you touch them,” the report advises. “And once you leave the cab or rideshare, wash your hands as soon as possible — and avoid touching your face until you do.”

There are plenty of products you can carry to help fight germs too, including the Clean Well sprayer, an all-natural, alcohol free, version popular with people looking for something as an alternative to Purell, said Paul Shrater, co-founder and COO of Minimus.biz, a site that sells travel-sized products.

“One thing to note is that once you call something ‘sanitizer,’ ‘antibacterial’ or ‘disinfect’ it is actually considered an over-the-counter drug, and regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because you are making specific medical claims,” said Shrater. “That’s quite different than something that just claims to ‘clean’ like a regular soap, so if you are really looking to kill germs, look for something that has one of those phrases,” he said.