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Business News/ News / World/  Man suffers two cardiac arrests mid-flight; Indian-origin doctor miraculously saves life of co-passenger
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Man suffers two cardiac arrests mid-flight; Indian-origin doctor miraculously saves life of co-passenger

Dr. Vishwaraj Vemala miraculously saved a co-passenger who suffered two consecutive cardiac arrests mid-air.

Dr. Vishwaraj Vemala is a consultant hepatologist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.Premium
Dr. Vishwaraj Vemala is a consultant hepatologist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.

A passenger from Birmingham who had nearly passed away twice on a 10-hour journey was miraculously saved by Dr. Vishwaraj Vemala. Vemala, a consultant hepatologist at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, was travelling from the UK to India to pick up his mother and bring her back to Bangalore when flight attendants on Air India flight AI128 frantically began calling for an ambulance after a passenger suffered a cardiac arrest.

Without any prior medical history, a 43-year-old guy passed out in the aeroplane's aisle and suffered a heart arrest. In an effort to revive the passenger, who at the moment had no pulse and was not breathing, Dr. Vemala attended to him.

Dr. Vemala had to do resuscitation for approximately an hour before he was able to bring him back. He questioned the onboard cabin staff whether they had any medication during this period. Fortunately, they had an emergency bag with resuscitative drugs to enable life support, which completely shocked Dr. Vemala.

There was no other equipment on board to keep an eye on his condition besides an automatic external defibrillator and oxygen. Dr. Vemala was also able to obtain a heart-rate monitor, blood pressure machine, pulse oximeter and glucose metre to monitor the patient's vital signs after asking the other passengers on board.

The traveller experienced a second cardiac arrest while speaking with Dr. Vemala. This time, his resuscitation took longer. Together with the cabin staff, who worked to keep him alive for a total of five hours during the flight, the Indian-origin was without a strong pulse or normal blood pressure for about two hours of the flight.

Dr. Vemala and the pilot attempted to request permission to land at the closest airstrip in Pakistan out of concern for the passenger's chance of survival, but their pleas were rejected. Instead, they managed to make plans to land in Mumbai Airport in India, where rescue personnel were waiting for them on the ground.

Dr Vemala was able to leave the patient safe and stable with the emergency team at Mumbai Airport, with very detailed notes and observations he’d shown the cabin crew how to take.

Dr. Vemala reported that the patient had thanked him with tears in his eyes and vowed to always be grateful to him for saving his life. He will certainly remember this occasion for the rest of his life, Dr Vemala added.

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
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Published: 06 Jan 2023, 10:29 AM IST
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