CHICAGO, IL – No stranger to controversy, United Airlines has thrown itself into the headlines once again by announcing that it will be replacing oxygen masks in the panels above passengers’ seats with endotracheal tubes.
“We have always been worried about low oxygen levels if cabin pressure drops or if a passenger can’t protect his or her own airway, then oxygen masks may not be enough,” elaborated United Airlines spokesperson Roger Shiley-Cuff. “We had entertained noninvasive modalities like CPAP and BiPAP, but ultimately we realized that wasn’t consistent with our vision. We’re confrontational. We’re violent. We’re invasive. That’s the United way.”
According to United Airlines, 75% of their air fleet have already been updated from oxygen masks to endotracheal tubes. In parallel fashion, United Airlines’ safety announcement has been revised as well. United passengers can expect to hear the following prior to take off during their next flight, assuming they haven’t been beaten unconscious by their United staff:
If cabin pressure should change, panels above your seat will open, revealing endotracheal tubes. Reach up and pull a tube towards you. Using landmarks, insert the endotracheal tube between your vocal cords, advancing until the cuff passes the vocal cords. Inflate the cuff. Begin self-bagging or attach a mechanical ventilator. Secure the endotracheal tube with tape. Be sure to secure your own endotracheal tube before helping others.
“We want to reassure our passengers we will make this as smooth a transition as possible,” continued Shiley-Cuff, who states that the first self-intubation is always the toughest. “If you have trouble intubating yourself, our flight attendants have been trained to manage even the most difficult of airways. If you forgot to pack your own LMA or ventilator, you will be able to purchase either for just a small fee. Remember, we don’t take cash. Only credit card.”