An airline passenger is lucky to be alive after he suffered a mid-air heart attack during a long-haul flight and was saved by three fellow travellers.
The man was midway through a flight from Canada to Hong Kong when he complained of chest pains and his heart suddenly stopped beating.
Luckily, a doctor, a pharmacist and a policeman trained in first aid were all on board and, with the help of crew, kept him alive.
A man suffered a heart attack while flying from Canada to Hong Kong last month, but his life was saved by a doctor, a pharmacist and a policeman who were on board
He has now made a full recovery in a case which is being used as an example of why portable defibrillators should be carried on all flights.
The dramatic incident, which happened last month, came to light after the doctor involved reported it to the British Medical Journal, which called the episode ‘a remarkable story of survival against all the odds’.
Dr Dave Monks, an anaesthesiologist who has worked at the Royal Free Hospital in London, said the man was taken ill hundreds of miles from the nearest airport in some of the most remote airspace on earth.
Dr Monks said the man told him of striking pains moving from his chest to his head.
The passenger then lost consciousness and had no pulse, causing Dr Monks to ask other passengers for help.
Luckily, a pharmacist who had worked in an intensive care unit and a trained policeman came forward and, using a portable defibrillator, they gave the man an electric shock to get his heart pumping again.
The doctor involved said the incident highlighted the importance of having defibrillators on flights and in training as many people as possible in how to use them
When the man’s health again deteriorated, the brave trio kept him alive using adrenaline from the plane’s medical kit.
The pilot of the aircraft then landed in Beijing, China and the man was rushed to a nearby hospital. Remarkably, he was discharged 10 days later having made a complete recovery.
Dr Monks told Live Science: ‘This guy was extremely fortunate to have this team there.
‘These guys just happened to be on the plane and even with the [basic medical skills] they had, they were able to perform a quite dramatic and sophisticated critical care resuscitation.’
He said the episode shows the importance of keeping defibrillators on passenger planes and training people in first aid.
He cited research that shows people are more likely to have heart attacks on flights due to stress, disturbed sleep patterns and lower levels of oxygen.
One study suggests about 1,000 passengers per year experience sudden cardiac arrest while on flights.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2743043/Aircraft-passenger-having-heart-attack-flight-saved-doctor-policeman-pharmacist-board.html#ixzz3CLZNuKWD
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