Were you on American Airlines Flight 896? The Daily News wants...

Claude - March 24 2008, 12:05 PM

Were you on American Airlines Flight 896?

The Daily News wants to hear your first-hand accounts of the tragic death aboard American Airlines Flight 896 from Port-au-Prince to New York Sunday.

Witnesses can call 212-210-1682 or email webnews at nydailynews.com
Airline says devices were working on flight when Brooklyn mom died
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS February 2008,
American Airlines pronounced its staff professional and its equipment sound Monday after a swift review of a passenger's in-flight death, despite her family's claims that the crew ignored her pleas until it was too late.
The airline said the oxygen tanks and a defibrillator were working and noted that several medical professionals on Flight 896, including a doctor, tried to save passenger Carine Desir.

But Desir's friends and family were still left with questions.

A cousin who had been onboard with the dying woman said a flight attendant twice denied her requests for oxygen -- an account the airline disputes.

A longtime friend said the 44-year-old nurse had been to the doctor for an electrocardiogram just two weeks earlier and had left with a clean bill of health.

Desir, who was afraid of flying and was married with two children, had diabetes but was in generally good health, said her friend, who asked to remain anonymous because she did not want to be contacted by more members of the media.

She had hypertension, which she controlled with medication, the friend said.
A pediatrician who tried to help Desir on the plane, Joel Shulkin, said through his attorney, Justin Nadeau, that he could not confirm the claim by Desir's cousin that the oxygen tanks weren't working.

Shulkin said he found out about the incident when an intercom announcement was made asking for help from medical professionals onboard.

Two emergency medical technicians performed CPR on Desir, and he tried to use a defibrilator on her, but her heart rhythm was too weak, he said.
"American Airlines, after investigation, has determined that oxygen was administered on the aircraft, and it was working, and the defibrillator was applied as well," airline spokesman Charley Wilson said Monday.

The airline said Desir was helped by two flight attendants within three minutes of her first request for oxygen.

American said a total of three doctors, two emergency medical technicians and two nurses were on board and offered to help, although some of them may have simply observed.

Wilson also said there were 12 oxygen tanks on the plane and the crew checked them before the flight took off to make sure they were working.

He said at least two were used on Desir.

Desir had complained of not feeling well and being very thirsty after she ate a meal on the Friday flight home from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, according to Antonio Oliver, a cousin who was traveling with her and her brother, Joel Desir.

Oliver said a flight attendant twice denied Desir's requests for oxygen.

Eventually, he said, the flight attendant, doctors and two nurses tried to administer oxygen from two portable tanks, but he said they were empty.

He also said that attempts were made to revive Desir with CPR and a defibrillator.

Subject:

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