A transatlantic flight was forced to divert to Shannon Airport early this morning after a passenger suffered a suspected head injury in a fall on board.
American Airlines flight AA-52 was travelling from Philadelphia in U.S. to Prague in the Czech Republic when the crew declared a medical emergency shortly after 5am.
The flight was less than an hour west of Ireland when the crew issued a Pan-Pan radio call indicating that they had a medical situation on board and confirming they wished to divert and land at Shannon Airport.
The crew reported they had a woman in her 50s who had suffered a fall and had suffered at least once seizure. It’s understood that a number of medical professionals including doctors were travelling on the flight and assessed the woman.
According to sources, the woman suffered a second fall after visiting the toilet and doctors became more concerned about her. It was feared she had suffered a head injury in the initial fall which possibly resulted in the second incident.
After consulting with cabin crew staff, the doctors agreed that it would be best to divert to the nearest suitable airport and have the woman assessed further in hospital.
Authorities at Shannon were informed of the incoming emergency aircraft and the National Ambulance Service was contacted and requested to mobilise resources to the airport.
The Airbus A330-200 landed at 5.50am and taxied to terminal where ground staff and ambulance paramedics were waiting to meet the aircraft. The woman was removed to University Hospital Limerick for treatment however her condition is not known.
The flight is due to resume its journey later this morning.
50 unscheduled landings so far this year
It was the second medical diversion to Shannon Airport in just 18 hours.
A holiday jet made an unscheduled landing at the mid-west airport yesterday afternoon so a passenger could receive medical attention.
Thomson flight BY-1448 was less than an hour into its journey from Glasgow, Scotland to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands when the crew turned around off the Cork coast and diverted to Shannon.
The flight landed at 4.33pm and resumed its journey shortly after 6.00pm. A woman was removed to hospital by ambulance for treatment.
So far this year, the airport has dealt with around 50 unscheduled landings 16 of which were medical diversions, the same number for the entire of 2018.