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Editor's Correspondence
May 10, 1999

Altitude Sickness

Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(9):1011. doi:

During a recent trans-Atlantic flight, the crew asked for medical assistance. The patient was a 17-month-old boy returning to the United States with his father after a trip to Kenya. The boy developed "flu-like" symptoms a few days prior to departure. While sitting on the airplane, he vomited and then had a generalized seizure. Initial examination revealed an unconscious child who was febrile and tachycardic. His extremities were rigid and his eyes were deviated to the left. Standard medical supplies were requested, but unfortunately, the medical kit was grossly inadequate. It did not contain a thermometer or other basic medical instruments or medications. We applied cool, wet towels and gave him oral pediatric acetaminophen (retrieved from my daughter's bag).