DearColleague.us

Letter

Sending Office: Honorable James R. Langevin
Sent By:
Katherine.Lee@mail.house.gov

Supported by the Association of Flight Attendants – CWA

Current Signers: Langevin, Fitzpatrick, Trone, McKinley, Shalala, A. Levin, Tlaib, Carson

 

Dear Colleague,

As we approach what may be “the single busiest day ever for the US airline industry,” we must ensure that an individual’s chance of surviving an opioid
overdose is not determined by which air carrier he or she chooses.

There have been multiple reports of opioid overdoses occurring in the air, including reports over the summer of a passenger who died from an overdose while on a cross-country flight from Boston to Los Angeles. The reports stated that although those onboard
tried to administer care, they did not have access to naloxone, an opioid antagonist, that may have saved the passenger’s life.

In response to an initial letter in August, FAA Administrator Dickson recognized “the need to update emergency medical kits to include opioid antagonists” on airplanes and stated that “the FAA will seek to encourage the expeditious and voluntary
inclusion of opioid antagonists in the [medical] kits.” Many airlines, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Frontier Airlines, have voluntarily agreed to stock naloxone on their planes.

We are now calling on all other major U.S. air carriers to voluntarily stock opioid antagonists in emergency medical kits. Whether a person is on the ground or in the air, all individuals should have access to an opioid antagonist when needed.
If you have any questions or would like to cosign this letter, please contact Katherine Lee in Congressman Langevin’s office at Katherine.Lee@mail.house.gov, James Longley in Congressman Fitzpatrick’s office
at James.Longley@mail.house.gov, or Tyler Adamson in Congressman Trone’s office at
Tyler.Adamson@mail.house.gov.
Deadline is COB on November 22nd

Sincerely,

James R. Langevin                         Brian Fitzpatrick                            David J. Trone
Member of Congress                      Member of Congress                     Member of Congress

The opioid overdose epidemic has claimed the lives of over 400,000 Americans in the last 20 years, and people across the country have struggled with the loss of family members, friends, and neighbors. Congress, industry, and academia all have a role to play
in responding to this public health crisis, and today we call on you to make a small change that can save lives nationwide.

This summer, media outlets reported that an airline passenger died from an overdose while on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles.[1]  Coverage of the incident stated that although flight attendants attempted
to assist the dying man, they did not have access to an opioid antagonist, such as naloxone, that could have saved his life. This is not the first report of an overdose on an aircraft,[2]  and it will not be the
last.

Many of us sent a letter to the FAA Administrator in August requesting the mandatory inclusion of naloxone in emergency medical kits. In response to our letter, Administrator Dickson recognized “the need to update emergency medical kits to include opioid
antagonists” and stated that “the FAA will seek to encourage the expeditious and voluntary inclusion of opioid antagonists in the [medical] kits.” Several air carriers, including American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Frontier
Airlines,[3] have voluntarily agreed to stock opioid antagonists on their planes.

We now urge you to immediately begin stocking opioid antagonists on all flights as part of the emergency medical kits you are already required to have on board. An individual’s chance of surviving an opioid overdose should not depend on which air carrier he
or she chooses.

Sincerely,

 

 


[1] Delta Passenger Carried Off Plane ‘in a Body Bag’ After Bathroom Overdose, Flier Says – https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/national/article232744657.html

[2] Naloxone, the medicine helping fight the opioid crisis, explained – https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/2/12/16846242/naloxone-opioid-heroin-fentanyl-epidemic

[3] Delta adding overdose-reversal drug on planes to combat opioid crisis – https://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/news/2019/07/18/delta-adding-overdose-reversal-drug-on-planes-to.html; US airlines adding opioid
overdose drug Narcan to emergency in-flight medical kits-  https://www.11alive.com/article/news/health/narcan-on-planes-emergency-medical-kits/85-71ccd631-7c31-47a0-8451-3cbdb1b8fe32

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: HealthCare, Transportation

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