Two doctors who were travelling on a Ranchi-Delhi flight rescued a child with congenital heart disease who developed severe breathing issues. An IAS officer and doctor by training, Nitin Kulkarni, and a doctor from Ranchi Sadar Hospiral gave oxygen supply using a mask meant for adults and other drugs as emergency medical assistance.
After the flight landed after an hour, a medical team took the child under their care and provided oxygen support. The parents were taking the child to AIIMS, Delhi, for treatment due to the heart condition. Twenty minutes into the flight, the air crew made an emergency announcement, seeking medical assistance from any doctor on board for a baby in distress.
Kulkarni, who is currently the principal secretary to the Governor of Jharkhand, and Mozammil Pheroz from Sadar Hospital in Ranchi came forward to save the child.
"The mother was crying as the baby was gasping for breath. Me and Mozammil took over care of the baby. Oxygen was supplied through an adult mask as somehow no baby mask or cannula was available," Kulkarni said as quoted by news agency PTI.
"We checked the medical records. The baby suffered from a congenital heart condition, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). They were going to AIIMS for it," he said.
He added that the injection of theophylline was given from the drug kit. The parents were carrying the injection Dexona, which proved very helpful, he said.
The baby showed some signs of improvement after the injections, and oxygen and heartbeat was being monitored with a stethoscope. Lack of an oximeter made it difficult to assess the oxygen saturation status, Kulkarni said.
"First 15-20 minutes were very crucial and stressful as it was difficult to gauge the progress. Finally the eyes became normal and the baby also made sounds," he said. He added that the cabin crew was very helpful and provided prompt support.
"We requested for priority landing and full medical support on arrival," Kulkarni said.
The flight landed at 9.25 am, and the medical team rushed in to provide the baby with oxygen support. "We were happy and satisfied with the outcome of our efforts of more than an hour," Kulkarni added.
(With input from agencies)