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Commentary |

What Went Right: Lessons for the Intensivist From the Crew of US Airways Flight 1549

Lewis A. Eisen, MD, FCCP; Richard H. Savel, MD
Author and Funding Information

Affiliations: From the Division of Critical Care Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY.

Correspondence to: Lewis A. Eisen, MD, FCCP, Department of Critical Care, Montefiore Medical Center, 111 East 210th St, Bronx, NY 10467-2490; e-mail: leisen@montefiore.org


Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (www.chestjournal.org/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2009 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2009;136(3):910-917. doi:10.1378/chest.09-0377
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On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549 hit geese shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. Both engines lost power, and the crew quickly decided that the best action was an emergency landing in the Hudson River. Due to the crew's excellent performance, all 155 people aboard the flight survived. Intensivists can learn valuable lessons from the processes and outcome of this incident, including the importance of simulation training and checklists. By learning from the aviation industry, the intensivist can apply principles of crew resource management to reduce errors and improve patient safety. Additionally, by studying the impact of the mandated process-engineering applications within commercial aviation, intensivists and health-care systems can learn certain principles that, if adequately and thoughtfully applied, may seriously improve the art and science of health-care delivery at the bedside.

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