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Man dies after being denied defibrillator due to his chest hair, says widow

Man dies after being denied defibrillator due to his chest hair, says widow

In this Tuesday, July 1, 2014 photo, an emergency defibrillator hangs on the wall at the Illinois State Capitol Tuesday, July 1, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

During a Southwest Airlines flight in April, Caroline Jordan's husband, Jack, had a massive heart attack. A physical therapist and hospice nurse on board quickly gave him CPR, she tells WABC.

That's when Jordan noticed a defibrillator nearby ... not being used. When another passenger asked why, a flight attendant allegedly said Jack Jordan's chest was too hairy, Caroline Jordan says.

Eventually, her husband's chest was shaved and he was hooked up to the AED, KOAT reports, but he didn't survive. "I don't expect the airlines or the flight attendants to be nurses or doctors, not anywhere close, but in that kind of a circumstance, one of the first things they should be doing is getting that AED hooked up," Caroline Jordan says.

Medical experts tell KOAT that the hairy chest excuse is nonsense; chest hair rarely impedes an AED's effectiveness, and the devices often come equipped with razors to shave hair and scissors to cut clothing.

Southwest is looking into the incident. (In a much happier story recently, passengers teamed up to save a heart attack victim on a flight.)

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