A plane bound for America was forced to return to Dublin yesterday when a 9-year-old girl fell ill with an apparent anaphylactic shock, or nut allergy. The drama unfolded on United Airlines flight UA22 which was flying from Dublin to Newark in New Jersey.
The girl fell ill and was said to be in a state of extreme discomfort, with a puffy face, when crew announced that there was an emergency, asking any doctors on board to come forward. Luckily for her, a drug called epinephrine, also known as adrenaline, is kept on board all UA flights. It is believed to have been administered to the girl via an EpiPen.
The plane subsequently landed in Dublin shortly after 12.30pm when the girl was able to disembark with her family. The flight is now due to take place today and all passengers were accommodated by the airline overnight.
This case really shows the need for EpiPens to be available in public facilities, and particularly in enclosed spaces like aircraft. The girl in question had never shown signs of a nut allergy before. But for the medical supplies of the airline, and the specialised training of the crew members, the outcome of this story could have been tragically different.