Mumbai gynaec ‘delivers’ engineer from likely death, 32K-feet mid-air

It was around 9.30 p.m. on December 17, when the passengers on Vistara flight No. UK957 were just settling in for a warm dinner when the aircraft PA system crackled to life.

Mumbai: Averting a major scare, a leading Mumbai gynaecologist helped save the life of a Kolhapur engineer who suffered a medical emergency aboard a Delhi-Mumbai flight.

It was around 9.30 p.m. on December 17, when the passengers on Vistara flight No. UK957 were just settling in for a warm dinner when the aircraft PA system crackled to life.

“Is there any doctor on the flight? We have a medical emergency on board,” an airhostess repeated thrice, and the sole medic, Niranjan Chavan got up, leaving his meal midway.

He rushed towards the back of the aircraft and was shocked to see a young co-passenger, struggling to breath, eyes rolled up, and motionless, slumped on his seat, body cold, creating concerns in the flight.

He was later identified as Sushant Shelke, 31, an engineer from Kolhapur, along with an assistant, returning after completing a professional assignment in New Delhi.

“I checked his pulse, but couldn’t feel anya Then I tried to confirm it on my smartwatch when I got a feeble reading of around 96. His blood pressure had plummeted alarmingly. He had hypotension with cold clammy hands. All not very good signs given the circumstances mid-air,” Chavan told IANS.

Immediately, he asked the airline cabin crew, comprising Kavita, Shipra and Hamarzyde, to start oxygen, got some sugar powder and kept it on Shelke’s tongue and then fruit juice to sip on Shelke, who had become a proud new father just a week earlier.

Chavan massaged his hands and arms to increase the blood flow and increase the body temperature, even as many curious passengers tried to crowd around and crane their necks to view the treatment, but were shooed off by the crew.

“He seemed to improve after sometime. Slowly, he told me that he was on a religious fast that day (December 17), but had lived only on tea-biscuits for three days in New Delhi as he sorely missed his home-cooked traditional Kolhapuri cuisine.

After some 45 minutes, Shelke’s blood pressure climbed up to near-normal, the colour seemed to return on his face and he was apparently feeling stronger and cheerful, said Chavan.

The medico, who is the President of prestigious Mumbai Obstetrics & Gynaecological Society (MOGS, founded in 1934), sat beside the recovering co-passenger and completed the various airline and medical formalities before disembarking.

Later, around midnight, Shelke was handed over to the medical team waiting at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport who took his further charge, and whisked him away for ‘observation’ though he was raring to return home to his family in Kolhapur.

“It was a nerve-wracking incident, my first in over three decades of flying all over, but it was a big learning experience for me treating a critical passenger mid-air like this,” admitted Chavan, who also heaped praises on the Vistara pilots and crew for their promptness without panicking.


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