Passengers Team Up to Save Heart Attack Victim
As plane travels through remote territory
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 2, 2014 4:52 PM CDT
A man was saved by fellow passengers on a plane.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A man who suffered a heart attack on a plane survived thanks to some well-trained fellow passengers. A doctor, a pharmacist, and a police officer on board rushed to the man's aid and saved his life, as they recount in the British Medical Journal. To add to the drama, the commercial flight was traveling "through some of the most remote airspace on the planet," notes the BMJ. The man reported chest pain, and Dr. Dave Monks went to speak with him; after the man lost consciousness, Monks performed chest compressions, LiveScience reports. The other two men came to his side when he sought help.

"They were able to perform a quite dramatic and sophisticated critical care resuscitation," Monks tells LiveScience. The crew helped, too, using a defibrillator that was on the plane. The police officer was among those performing CPR, and the pharmacist provided epinephrine via the plane's medical supplies. The plane from Canada to Hong Kong was diverted to the closest big city in China; there, the man was hospitalized. He recovered and was discharged, "neurologically intact, 10 days later," the BMJ notes. The story offers a lesson, Monks says: Regular people should be taught resuscitation techniques, and all planes should carry defibrillators, as US rules require. (Though one widow says they aren't always used correctly.)

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Sep 26, 2014 12:24 PM CDT
I often wonder at the ignorant remarks made on Posts. Police are human. They do good things and bad things. Lumping them all together is ignorant in the extreme. And if the plane had been "flying over the USA the only difference that would have made is that it would have been closer to an airfield, therefore closer to a hospital. The emergency worked out well, thanks to trained and good people.
Sep 24, 2014 11:32 PM CDT
Ah but working too hard can give you a heart attack, ack, ack, ack, ack, ack....
Sep 3, 2014 4:36 AM CDT
The irony is that the same cop who helped save this passenger has been trained to fire multiple bullets into the chest of a mentally ill person who refuses to drop a "weapon" as non-threatening as a small screwdriver. And 99.99% of cops are more than willing to commit these legalized murders, just to avoid "violating the rules." Probably half of them commit felonies by beating their wives on a regular basis, and an even larger percentage probably cheat on their taxes. But when it comes to executing perps with kill shots instead of disabling them with shots to their knees, they're real sticklers about following that rule. After all, being reprimanded for sparing someone's life might cause them to lose sleep.