A passenger on a flight had his life saved thanks to three passengers who were trained in basic life support. The man had a heart attack on the flight from Canada to Hong Kong but managed to survive thanks to the skills of a policeman, doctor and pharmacist who were on board the flight. They worked with the flight crew to help perform CPR, who then used an automatic external defibrillator to ensure his heart had a regular heartbeat. The plane was diverted to a major city in China where the passenger was taken to a hospital for treatment. He was given anticlotting drugs and made a full recovery.
The doctor, who was an anesthesiologist at the Royal Free Hospital, recently published the account in the British Medical Journal.
The incident shows the value of undertaking basic life support training, as well as the importance of having an automatic external defibrillator on board. Not every airplane carries one, Dr Monks, said: “In this case, [the device proved] lifesaving for this man.”