March 25, 2023

Cardiac arrest occurred twice in the flight from London to India, the doctor became the Messiah at the height of 40 thousand feet

2 min read

London. A doctor recounts the five-hour struggle on his journey where he saved a passenger’s life on a long-haul flight. Actually, 48-year-old Dr. Vishwaraj Vemala, a liver specialist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, was on his way to India with his mother when a fellow passenger suffered a cardiac arrest. With the help of medical supplies and passengers’ belongings that were on the plane at that time, Dr. Vemala resuscitated the 43-year-old man twice.

He said that he will remember this experience for the rest of his life. He said, ‘Obviously during my medical training, it was something I had experience dealing with, but never at 40,000 feet in the air.’ According to a BBC report, the incident dates back to November 2022, when the cabin crew on an Air India flight from London started looking for a doctor after the passenger suffered a cardiac arrest.

The pulse and breathing of the passenger was also not working. Dr Vemala said, ‘It took me about an hour to revive his heartbeat.’ He further said, ‘Fortunately, the crew had an emergency kit, which surprised me because that kit included medicine to deal with cardiac arrest for life support.’

second cardiac arrest
However, apart from oxygen and an automatic defibrillator, he said, “we didn’t have any monitors to help us monitor how the patient’s body was reacting.” After talking to other passengers on board the Air India flight from London, Dr Vemala found various machines including a heart-rate monitor, pulse oximeter, glucose meter and blood pressure machine.

The patient suffered a second cardiac arrest a short time later, requiring even longer resuscitation. He said, ‘We tried to keep that person alive for a total of five hours.’

Aircraft landing at Mumbai airport
The pilot arranged for a landing at the Mumbai airport, where emergency personnel took the passenger to safety after thanking Dr Vemla for saving the patient’s life. He further added, ‘It was the first time in my seven years as a consultant that my mother had seen me work, which made the event even more emotional.’

Tags: air india, UK, cardiac arrest, London

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