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Report: Widow says flight attendant nixed use of defibrillator due to husband’s hairy chest

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Posted at 3:29 PM, Aug 31, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-31 17:31:16-04

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A man died on a flight from Los Angeles to Albuquerque after he suffered a heart attack, and his wife said she believes a flight attendant’s reaction to her husband’s hairy chest contributed to a delay that may have cost her husband his life.

KOAT in Albuquerque reports that Caroline and Jack Jordan were on a Southwest Airlines flight when Jack suffered a heart attack.

Passengers reportedly attempted to perform CPR, but Caroline Jordan tells KOAT that a flight attendant said chest hair meant they couldn’t use the defibrillator aboard the aircraft on her husband.

“The flight attendant that had been right up there with us said because his chest is too hairy,” she told KOAT.

Jack Jordan died as a result of the heart attack.

A doctor who spoke with KOAT said chest hair is rarely a factor in whether or not a defibrillator works, and other medical personnel said razors and scissors are included with defibrillators in case there is a need to shave hair or cut clothing or jewelry.

A spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines tells KOAT the airline is looking into the incident. See the video above for an interview with Caroline Jordan and others regarding the death.

Click here for more on this story from KOAT.