Is there a doctor on board?

April 14, 2019, Taipei (late entry) — Vi here, so no boy humor in this post… As Sal mentioned we’re headed to Vietnam!  

We left Vancouver at 2am. I finally got to sleep a few hours into the flight when I was awakened by an overhead announcement calling for any medical personnel who could assist with an emergency. Of course, I get up and Sal says his usual, “Come get me if you need help with an airway,” as if I’d give up an airway to him. Hah!  I find a flight attendant who is shaking with panic and as we speedwalk to the back of the plane she says, “It’s a baby. She needs you!  It’s an emergency!”  So much for getting any sleep on this flight…This is a physician’s worst case scenario…a baby in extremis on a trans-Pacific flight with flight attendants who speak minimal English and no nurse!  I was the only medical person who responded. 

I get to the back of the plane and much to my surprise and delight I see the “baby” is a 3-year old girl sitting on the floor with a scalp full of blood, looking at me very suspiciously. Thank goodness this was not the worst case scenario!  Apparently she fell out of her plane seat onto the floor and lacerated her head. While it bled a lot she was fine. I rummaged through their medical supplies and while I found laryngoscope blades and IV amiodarone, there was no skin glue, sutures or steristrips. She braved water bottle irrigation and tolerated me closing her lac with hair-tie approximation without shedding a single tear until the very end. Then her eyes welled up and two large tears dripped down her cheeks. The flight attendants were super appreciative and gave me tons of swag, which I can’t carry with me on this trip, sadly.  Anyway, off to Ho Chi Minh City!

4 thoughts on “Is there a doctor on board?

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