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Exceptional survival of an airplane stowaway, treated successfully with hyperbaric oxygen. / Schwarte, Lothar A.; van der Werf, Huub J.; Ridderikhof, Milan L. et al.

In: American journal of emergency medicine, Vol. 59, 09.2022, p. 215.e7-215.e9.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Harvard

Schwarte, LA, van der Werf, HJ, Ridderikhof, ML, Fräβdorf, J, van Embden, D & Weenink, RP 2022, 'Exceptional survival of an airplane stowaway, treated successfully with hyperbaric oxygen.', American journal of emergency medicine, vol. 59, pp. 215.e7-215.e9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2022.06.021

APA

Schwarte, L. A., van der Werf, H. J., Ridderikhof, M. L., Fräβdorf, J., van Embden, D., & Weenink, R. P. (2022). Exceptional survival of an airplane stowaway, treated successfully with hyperbaric oxygen. American journal of emergency medicine, 59, 215.e7-215.e9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2022.06.021

Vancouver

Schwarte LA, van der Werf HJ, Ridderikhof ML, Fräβdorf J, van Embden D, Weenink RP. Exceptional survival of an airplane stowaway, treated successfully with hyperbaric oxygen. American journal of emergency medicine. 2022 Sep;59:215.e7-215.e9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajem.2022.06.021

Author

Schwarte, Lothar A. ; van der Werf, Huub J. ; Ridderikhof, Milan L. et al. / Exceptional survival of an airplane stowaway, treated successfully with hyperbaric oxygen. In: American journal of emergency medicine. 2022 ; Vol. 59. pp. 215.e7-215.e9.

BibTeX

@article{3a144460544740acbfa9e7e25fbd9672,
title = "Exceptional survival of an airplane stowaway, treated successfully with hyperbaric oxygen.",
abstract = "Survival of airplane stowaways is rare. Here we report an exceptional case of successful treatment and full recovery. After a transcontinental flight an unconscious stowaway was discovered in a wheel well of a Boeing 747-400F. Airport paramedics confirmed regular respiration and achieved 100% oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry) by high-flow oxygen. Rectal body temperature was 35.5 °C. On arrival at the emergency department, the patient's vital signs were stable. He did not respond to verbal stimuli. He localized to painful stimuli with both arms, however, there was no reaction to stimuli to both legs. We suspected his neurological deficits were caused by posthypoxic encephalopathy or altitude decompression sickness (DCS), the latter amenable to hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT was performed for 5 h (US Navy Treatment Table 6) and afterwards, full neurological recovery was documented. About 24 h after admission a new proximal paresis of the left leg was noted. Assuming recurrence of DCS, daily HBOT was scheduled for three days, after which motor function had again returned to normal. Stowaways travelling in airplane wheel wells experience extreme environmental circumstances. The presented patient survived an eight-hour exposure to calculated barometric pressures as low as 190 mmHg and ambient PO2 of 40 mmHg. Apart from creating awareness of this rare patient category, we want to stress the risk of altitude DCS in unpressurized flights. When DCS is suspected, immediate high-flow oxygen therapy should be initiated, followed by HBOT at the earliest opportunity.",
keywords = "Altitude, Decompression, Hyperbaric oxygen, Hypoxia, Stowaway",
author = "Schwarte, {Lothar A.} and {van der Werf}, {Huub J.} and Ridderikhof, {Milan L.} and Jan Fr{\"a}βdorf and {van Embden}, Daphne and Weenink, {Robert P.}",
note = "Publisher Copyright: {\textcopyright} 2022 The Authors",
year = "2022",
month = sep,
doi = "10.1016/j.ajem.2022.06.021",
language = "English",
volume = "59",
pages = "215.e7--215.e9",
journal = "American journal of emergency medicine",
issn = "0735-6757",
publisher = "W.B. Saunders Ltd",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exceptional survival of an airplane stowaway, treated successfully with hyperbaric oxygen.

AU - Schwarte, Lothar A.

AU - van der Werf, Huub J.

AU - Ridderikhof, Milan L.

AU - Fräβdorf, Jan

AU - van Embden, Daphne

AU - Weenink, Robert P.

N1 - Publisher Copyright: © 2022 The Authors

PY - 2022/9

Y1 - 2022/9

N2 - Survival of airplane stowaways is rare. Here we report an exceptional case of successful treatment and full recovery. After a transcontinental flight an unconscious stowaway was discovered in a wheel well of a Boeing 747-400F. Airport paramedics confirmed regular respiration and achieved 100% oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry) by high-flow oxygen. Rectal body temperature was 35.5 °C. On arrival at the emergency department, the patient's vital signs were stable. He did not respond to verbal stimuli. He localized to painful stimuli with both arms, however, there was no reaction to stimuli to both legs. We suspected his neurological deficits were caused by posthypoxic encephalopathy or altitude decompression sickness (DCS), the latter amenable to hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT was performed for 5 h (US Navy Treatment Table 6) and afterwards, full neurological recovery was documented. About 24 h after admission a new proximal paresis of the left leg was noted. Assuming recurrence of DCS, daily HBOT was scheduled for three days, after which motor function had again returned to normal. Stowaways travelling in airplane wheel wells experience extreme environmental circumstances. The presented patient survived an eight-hour exposure to calculated barometric pressures as low as 190 mmHg and ambient PO2 of 40 mmHg. Apart from creating awareness of this rare patient category, we want to stress the risk of altitude DCS in unpressurized flights. When DCS is suspected, immediate high-flow oxygen therapy should be initiated, followed by HBOT at the earliest opportunity.

AB - Survival of airplane stowaways is rare. Here we report an exceptional case of successful treatment and full recovery. After a transcontinental flight an unconscious stowaway was discovered in a wheel well of a Boeing 747-400F. Airport paramedics confirmed regular respiration and achieved 100% oxygen saturation (pulse oximetry) by high-flow oxygen. Rectal body temperature was 35.5 °C. On arrival at the emergency department, the patient's vital signs were stable. He did not respond to verbal stimuli. He localized to painful stimuli with both arms, however, there was no reaction to stimuli to both legs. We suspected his neurological deficits were caused by posthypoxic encephalopathy or altitude decompression sickness (DCS), the latter amenable to hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). HBOT was performed for 5 h (US Navy Treatment Table 6) and afterwards, full neurological recovery was documented. About 24 h after admission a new proximal paresis of the left leg was noted. Assuming recurrence of DCS, daily HBOT was scheduled for three days, after which motor function had again returned to normal. Stowaways travelling in airplane wheel wells experience extreme environmental circumstances. The presented patient survived an eight-hour exposure to calculated barometric pressures as low as 190 mmHg and ambient PO2 of 40 mmHg. Apart from creating awareness of this rare patient category, we want to stress the risk of altitude DCS in unpressurized flights. When DCS is suspected, immediate high-flow oxygen therapy should be initiated, followed by HBOT at the earliest opportunity.

KW - Altitude

KW - Decompression

KW - Hyperbaric oxygen

KW - Hypoxia

KW - Stowaway

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85132528463&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.ajem.2022.06.021

DO - 10.1016/j.ajem.2022.06.021

M3 - Article

C2 - 35718658

AN - SCOPUS:85132528463

VL - 59

SP - 215.e7-215.e9

JO - American journal of emergency medicine

JF - American journal of emergency medicine

SN - 0735-6757

ER -

ID: 24928154