'An Hour On Plane Felt Like Whole Day Inside Terrifying ICU': Doctor Saves Life Of Passenger Struggling To Breath On Akasa Air Flight, Wins Hearts

'An Hour On Plane Felt Like Whole Day Inside Terrifying ICU': Doctor Saves Life Of Passenger Struggling To Breath On Akasa Air Flight, Wins Hearts

Sharing what happened on the plane, the doctor said it was the first time that he actually used a stethoscope after three and half years.

Rahul MUpdated: Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 06:21 PM IST
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Akasa Air Flight | X

Dr Cyriac Abby Philips, who was on an Akasa Air flight from Kochi to Mumbai one the night of January 14, helped save life of a fellow passenger who was struggling to breathe with dangerously low oxygen levels and soaring blood pressure. Sharing what happened on the plane, the doctor said it was the first time that he actually used a stethoscope after three and half years. The passenger's family later thanked Dr Cyriac Abby Philips for saving his life.

During the flight, Dr Philips was trying to take a nap as he was tired from work. At that time, a man sitting next to him started facing difficulties in breathing. "I found the air hostess trying to plug in the man's nebulizer for emergency inhalational treatment and I helped her get the machine running. He spoke in broken sentences, but he was not getting better," he said.

Doctor Used Stethoscope To Identify Problem

Dr Philips was confused as the passenger, who did not have asthma, had a nebulization kit. "I asked for the stethoscope and found that his left side lung sounds were completely absent. It was water filled (a condition called pleural effusion)," he said. The sick passenger then told the doctor that he had issues in his kidneys.

The odds were against the passenger as his medications were over and he was in accelerated hypertension with drowning lungs. The plane had to be in air for about an hour before emergency medical services could attend him. "I have no idea what happened next, but it felt like I was inside an ICU and had to make quick decisions," Dr Philips recalled.

Here's What He Did With Limited Resources At His Disposal

Dr Philip said: "I did a double puncture on his only accessible vein on the right side and further access was lost. The other upper limb had a dialysis fistula made and I could not use it. So I gave him a frusemide injection into his buttock muscles." While comforting the passenger, he even lied to him by telling that the plane had landed.

Dr Philip also mentioned calm and composed response of the female and male attendants on Akasa Air who helped him in keeping the passenger alive. "They quickly changed and provided oxygen cylinders without haste that helped me get his saturation to above 90%. I found some blood pressure lowering medications in the flight ER kit and helped the man swallow them in between breaths," he said.

Passenger Gets Necessary Treatment After Plane Landed

After the plane landed, the passenger was rushed to a hospital by his family. Dr Philip had already informed the family about what had happened on the plane. "The next day, his family messaged me to let me know that he was well. In the evening, after my podcast recording, the patient himself called me after he was shifted out of ICU post emergency dialysis," the doctor said. His long post on X received a lot of appreciation.

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