HMC nurse saves man’s life on flight to Doha

A staff nurse at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Heart Hospital, Mrs Ancy Phillip, recently demonstrated that a nurse is always on duty when she saved the life of a man while onboard an Air India flight to Qatar.

Recounting her experience, Philip said she expected her flight back to Doha to be routine but her work as a nurse prepared her for what she described as ‘a difficult situation 35,000 feet above the ground’.

“As nurses at HMC, we are regularly involved in administering lifesaving and emergency treatments. We get up and go to work every day expecting to deal with high stress situations that require us to act quickly when providing effective care. We are prepared to deal with medical emergencies under any circumstances,” she stated.

Mrs Philip, who works in the Critical Care Unit (CCU), was comfortably seated with her family as the plane took off for Doha.

Shortly after departing from Cochin International Airport in India, there was an announcement on the public address system asking that any medical personnel should come forward.

From the rear side of the aircraft, where Philip and her family were seated, she could see a commotion at the front of the plane. She left her seat and walked toward the scene ready to assist.

“When I approached the turmoil, I saw an unconscious man. I examined him and found he was breathless and without a pulse. A few moments later, I was joined by a nurse from Dubai and together we started resuscitating the patient. We assisted his breathing with an Ambu bag for 25 minutes and then we administered chest compressions. After 30 minutes, the patient showed signs of life but was still drowsy and was experiencing slurred speech,” said Philip.

By this point, the aircraft was headed back toward Cochin International Airport where the captain had requested permission for an emergency landing. Once on the ground, Philip and the other nurse handed the patient over to a doctor, who had come onboard. They also provided details about the patient and their medical intervention.

The man was quickly transferred to a speciality hospital in Cochin, she recalled. Philip later learned that the 50-year-old man had experienced a stroke and she was happy to hear that after receiving treatment he was discharged from the hospital.

“It is our duty as nurses to save lives whenever we can, not only in our jobs but also in our daily lives. Being a nurse is a big responsibility, yet it brings with it a lot of rewarding moments that make our lives more valuable,” said Philip.

While many people would consider Philip a heroine she believed anyone else in her situation would have done the same but credited her ability to remain calm under such pressure to her training and experience working at HMC.

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