Good to know: Medical items required by the FAA to be stocked on commercial flights

Sanjay Gupta in TIME: "As a physician who travels quite a bit, I spend a lot of time on planes listening for that dreaded "Is there a doctor onboard?" announcement. I wondered what I would do if confronted with a real midair medical emergency--without access to a hospital staff and the usual emergency equipment."

It turns out quite a few items are available at a physician's disposal in case of emergency. See the list of medical items required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to be stocked on commercial flights:

  • aspirin
  • diphenhydramine tablets
  • IV diphenhydramine
  • atropine
  • IV dextrose
  • IV normal saline
  • AED
  • oropharyngeal airways
  • IM epinephrine (1:1000)
  • IV epinephrine (1:10000)
  • inhaled bronchodilator
  • lidocaine
  • nitroglycerine tablets
  • nonnarcotic analgesic
  • instructions for medication administration
  • sphygmomanometer
  • stethoscope
  • latex gloves
  • syringes
  • needles
  • IV catheters with tubing and connectors
  • AMBU bag
  • CPR masks

Of the following items, which are not mandated by the FAA to be stocked in the medical kits on US commerical flights? My Emergency Medicine Blog.
Prout, M. MD and Pine, J. MD. "Management of inflight medical emergencies on commercial airlines." Up to Date. Oct 2008.
Federal Aviation Administration, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Image source: Wikipedia, public domain.
Is There a Doctor Onboard? TIME, 2002.
Despite doctors' help, airlines are often unappreciative. The National Review of Medicine, 2007.


  1. Hey Ves,

    There was an interesting article about inflight medicine issues in one of the professional indemity societies magazines recently: (From the Medical Protection Society)