Life saver: Malaysia Airlines expedites its onboard stretcher service


On Monday, 1 November, Malaysia Airlines successfully ferried a patient who required an urgent transfer from Hospital Sibu, Sarawak to Hospital Serdang, Selangor under the special Malaysia Airlines Medical Assistance (MEDA) service.

For this special mission, the airline’s engineering team mounted an aircraft-rated stretcher to nine economy class seats on a commercial flight to enable the patient to be transported together with required medical equipment.

Passengers requiring medical assistance and the attending doctor usually need to submit a Medical Information Form (MEDIF) to the MEDA Desk via at least 10 days ahead of travel. The lead time is required for booking creation, seat displacement onboard and medical risk assessment according to IATA guidelines. Given the urgent nature of the case, the Malaysia Airlines team made the process possible within a 48-hour turnaround time.

Nationwide, Malaysia Airlines is the only airline providing stretcher service to passengers. From January until October 2021, the airline successfully handled 150 MEDA cases.

The MEDA Desk Operation was formed in 2019 to provide end-to-end process of all MEDA requests. The service ensures safe, convenient, orderly and timely embarkation and disembarkation of passengers that require medical assistance.

Malaysia Airlines Group CEO, Captain Izham Ismail, said, “As a caring airline, we are glad to be playing our part to assist a fellow Malaysian in need. Our teams in both Sibu and Kuala Lumpur worked tirelessly to ensure everything went safely and smoothly from departure to arrival, and with the necessary medical assistance. In addition, all our cabin crew are trained to carry out first aid and CPR procedures besides being able to recognise a range of common medical conditions and to provide the necessary assistance when required.”

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Ever since his first flight on a TriStar, Adam has loved air travel, and since becoming editor of the Aircraft Interiors International brand he has really enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the latest aircraft and airline products before they are even launched. Adam co-ordinates the running of the magazine, from commissioning articles and artwork, to ensuring that high standards of quality are maintained, as well as managing online content. Adam is proud to sit on the jury of the Crystal Cabin Awards and to have laid on the bed in Etihad's Residence.

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