Jet diverts to Shannon with seriously ill passenger

A middle-aged woman on board the flight suffered a suspected stroke
Jet diverts to Shannon with seriously ill passenger

Pat Flynn

A woman has been rushed to hospital after the flight on which she was travelling diverted to Shannon Airport on Sunday afternoon.

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines flight 243 was travelling from Amsterdam in The Netherlands to the Dutch island of Saint Maarten in the Southern Caribbean at the time. There were 272 passengers and crew on board the Airbus A330 jet.

The flight had already transited Irish airspace and was about 450 kilometres west of Shannon Airport when the crew declared a medical emergency shortly after 1pm.

The flight crew had been in contact with air traffic controllers at the Irish Aviation Authority’s North Atlantic Communications Centre at Ballygirreen, Co Clare at the time. The crew said they needed to turn around and divert to Shannon Airport.

The flight crew confirmed they had a middle-aged woman on board suffering from a suspected stroke and that she was being cared for by a doctor.

The flight was cleared to reroute to Shannon where emergency medical services were alerted and placed on standby. The National Ambulance Service was contacted and requested to dispatch an emergency ambulance to the airport.

The flight landed at 1.49pm and was met by airport fire crews. The fire service had been placed on standby as a precaution and pursued the jet along the runway after it landed. Emergency vehicles accompanied the aircraft to the terminal where ambulance crews were also standing by.

Paramedics quickly boarded the aircraft and assessed the patient before the woman was rushed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

In 2022, Shannon Airport dealt with over 50 unscheduled and emergency landings of which 16 were medical diversions.

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