Many months ago, I described in a blog my frequent escapades with emergency medical care on airplanes. I started to think my luck had improved….until today.
Halfway into the direct San Francisco to Boston flight, an attendant asked overhead, “Is there a doctor on board?”
I reached up quickly and pressed my call button. The attendant ran to my aisle, looked down at me and asked, “Are you a doctor or…. a nurse?”
I was unsure where she was going, but I responded, “I’m a pediatrician, but if I’m the only one available, I can care for adults as well.”
She grabbed my arm and led me about 10 rows up and pointed out a semi-conscious Japanese woman slumped in her chair. I quickly shook her and sat her up in the chair. When I began asking questions, she perked up a little.
After a brief history, I learned she had no medical problems but had just taken Dramamine prior to getting on the plane. Soon after, she became fairly sedated, developed blurred vision and starting having stomach discomfort; all common side effects.
I did a quick exam and she was stable. Nothing needed to be done.
Then I did my most important work. I sat down with her two teenage boys and told them their mother was going to be fine. They smiled widely, hugged and started bouncing up and down. It was as if I had just pulled their mother from a burning house and brought her back to life.