Mumbai: A leading Mumbai gynaecologist helped save the life of a Kolhapur engineer who had experienced a medical emergency aboard a Delhi-Mumbai flight last week.
Around 9.30 pm on December 17, when passengers on Vistara flight number UK957 were just settling in for a warm dinner, the aircraft PA system crackled to life. “Is there any doctor on the flight? We have a medical emergency on board," an airhostess repeated thrice. The sole doctor on board, Dr Niranjan Chavan, a gynaecologist and the president of prestigious Mumbai Obstetrics and Gynaecological Society (MOGS) responded, leaving his meal midway.
According to the doctor,
The doctor rushed towards the rear of the aircraft and was shocked to see a young man struggling to breath, eyes rolled up and motionless, slumped in his seat. The passenger, who was later identified as Sushant Shelke, 31, an engineer from Kolhapur, was returning from New Delhi along with an assistant.
Mr Shelke, who had become a father just a week earlier, had been fasting for religious reasons and had since December 17 lived only on tea-biscuits for three days, the doctor said.
“I checked his pulse, but couldn't feel anything. Then I tried to confirm it on my smartwatch when I got a feeble reading. His blood pressure had plummeted alarmingly. He had hypotension. These were not good signs given the circumstances,” Dr Chavan said.
The doctor asked the airline cabin crew to start oxygen, put some sugar powder on Mr Shelke's tongue.
Dr Chavan massaged Mr Shelke’s hands to increase blood flow and body temperature. “I asked the crew to conduct a body check-up as there was a possibility of him having comorbidities,” he said.
After about 45 minutes, Mr Shelke's blood pressure climbed up to near-normal and the colour seemed to return to his face, Dr Chavan said. Mr Shelke was also apparently feeling better, he said.
Around midnight, Mr Shelke was handed over to the medical team waiting at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport who whisked him away for observation.
“I askedMr Shelke to get admitted to Sion hospital as he needed to be under observation, but he did not agree and left for Kolhapur after doctors provided him medical treatment at Mumbai airport,” Dr Chavan said.
"It was a nerve-wracking incident and the first such more than three decades of flying all over. Treating a patient in mid air in circumstances such as this was a big learning experience for me," Dr Chavan said.
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