A two-year-old baby with a heart defect stopped breathing on a Vistara flight from Bengaluru to Delhi on Sunday. The crew made an emergency announcement, seeking assistance from doctors onboard. What happened next was nothing short of a miracle.
Five doctors, who were onboard the flight, responded to the call and saved the life of the toddler. The incident was confirmed by AIIMS Delhi, which took to its official X (formerly Twitter) handle and shared the images of the baby and others on the flight.
The team of doctors happened to be on the flight as they were returning from a conference of the Indian Society for Vascular and Interventional Radiology. Among the five were an anesthesist and cardiac radiologists.
"It was a 2-year-old cyanotic female child who was operated outside for intracardiac repair, was unconscious and cyanosed," AIIMS Delhi wrote on X. A cyanotic person is one who is born with a heart defect, called a congenital heart problem.
The AIIMS post said the child's pulse was found missing while she was examined and her "extremities were also cold".
The child was not breathing and had cyanosed lips and fingers, AIIMS tweeted.
Cyanosis is the bluish-purple discoloration of skin, usually resulting from a lack of oxygen in the blood.
The team of doctors immediately started performing resuscitation procedures.
"Successfully IV canulla was placed, oropharyngeal airway was put and emergency response was initiated by the whole team of residents on board- and the baby for brought to ROSC- return of circulation," the hospital wrote.
Return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) means the toddler's heart rhythm was revived. But the crisis didn't end there -- the child suffered a cardiac arrest.
The team of doctors kept working for 45 minutes to save the child even as the flight was diverted to Nagpur due to the medical emergency. They used an automated external defibrillator (AED), which is a device commonly used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
"It was complicated by another cardiac arrest for which an AED was used. For 45 mins, the baby was resuscitated and the flight was routed to Nagpur. On reaching Nagpur, the child was handed over in stable hemodynamic to the pediatrician," it added.
Upon landing in Nagpur, the child was handed over to a pediatrician in a stable hemodynamic condition, which means she had normal blood circulation.
It was the mid-air efforts of the medical team from AIIMS that gave a second life to the 2-year-old baby.
On Friday, a Jabalpur-bound flight operated by Alliance Air, which took off from Delhi made an emergency landing at the Jaipur airport after a 52-year-old male passenger fell ill.
Officials at the Jaipur airport told PTI that the passenger's blood pressure had started dipping and he was taken to a nearby hospital for a check upon landing.