From flights to trains to even just going out and about, you never know what a medical emergency happen.
Below are ten of the best 'Is there a doctor on board' stories. Check them out!
1/10) I had just gotten my EMT. I was flying alone, and had gotten upgraded seats. I drank at the lounge for two hours, then boarded the plane and continued drinking wine until I passed out.
I woke up to the PA system asking, "if an EMT on board, please come and identify yourself to a crew member."
I thought to myself: "Oh boy, someone must be in trouble, I should see if I can help."
I realized that someone was me when a flight attendant slipped on oxygen mask on my face. Apparently, I'd gotten up to go to the bathroom and passed out in the aisle.
After I identified myself as the EMT, they laughed, gave me some orange juice, and put me back in my seat where I slept the rest of the flight and got to go through customs just as the hangover hit.
2/10) A friend of mine had recently graduated with her PhD and, feeling proud of herself, was writing "Dr" on everything - including her boarding passes/ID cards, everything. She's boarding the plane and the air hostess notices her title "Welcome aboard, Dr!". She's chuffed with herself.
Of course, fast forward to a few hours later, someone on the flight is having breathing difficulties, and the air hostess announces "If there are any doctors on board, please make yourself known to staff". Well my friend sits there, paralyzed with the realization that the only way she can help is if the passenger in question is a plant (she's a plant biotech grad), but doesn't think it's worth explaining this to the crew. So she sits there, not making eye contact.
This is why I never write 'Dr' on my documents.
3/10) On a flight from Philadelphia to London, the flight attendant announces if there is a doctor on board, please press your call light. I waited a few seconds and when nothing happened, I reluctantly pressed the button. The passenger was complaining of chest/upper abdominal pains. We were on an American Airlines Boeing 777 which showed a map of where we were. At this point we were just over the southern tip of Greenland.
I do a quick exam of the passenger and conclude he most likely is having a bout of acute hepatitis (jaundiced under tongue and eyes, upper right quadrant pain, pulse fast but not tachycardia). I needed to get the patient a little more comfort and asked if they had seats that fully reclined. The flight attendant said they do in first class. So we get upgraded for the rest of the flight. I don't call an emergency and we land at Heathrow without incident. Paramedics arrive to take him to the hospital; I continue on through customs.
I think nothing of it except six months later, I get a letter in the mail from the flight surgeon of AA thanking me and giving me 50,000 frequent flyer miles, which was good for round trip domestic travel. That was nice of them. But I didn't make them land a full plane in Greenland, so I guess they got off cheap.
To the next page for even crazier 'Is There A Doctor On Board? Stories!
4/10) Paramedic here from UK.
My wife and I were on our honeymoon flight out to Thailand. They asked if there was anyone medical on board about four hours in. No one put a hand up, so I went up. They asked me for my medical identification, which I didn't have. They said I couldn't intervene, so I said fine, and left them to it. They obviously have strict rules about this.
Five minutes later, they asked again. I told them to have someone look up my paramedic registration on the hcpc website, if they were desperate. Obviously they decided they were. They had me go through and see him.
70ish yearr old man, totally unconscious, sweating like a cheese in a greenhouse. No one had done anything with him. A quick set of observations confirmed the obvious. He was having a massive hypoglycaemic event. Unfortunately didn't reveal that he was diabetic and didn't have a hypostop kit with him.
So I did the jab, got him round with some oxygen and gave instructions for the staff to monitor him.
Sat back down and watched the rest of my film. The patient was grateful and the flight attendants were loading our glasses for the rest of the flight.
5/10) I was on Eurostar train from London to Paris and that call was made. There was a conference on, so about ten doctors walked one at a time down the carriage and nine walked back shortly after. Train was stopped at next station to let the patient off.
6/10) My dad, who's an internal medicine doctor, was on a flight to Alaska.
They did the whole "is there any medical professionals on board" thing and my dad just sat there for a minute hoping that another person would get up and help. They did the announcement again and still nobody so Pops got up and went to the back where the guy was almost passed out on the floor.
Apparently the guy recently had back surgery, had taken some pain medicine but forgot to eat which I guess caused his blood sugar to drop. Pops did his doctoring thing which pretty much consisted of him telling the flight attendants to get the person as much orange juice as he wanted. Once the guy felt better the flight attendants started offering my dad steaks and free alcohol. He said no to all the fancy stuff and opted for a root beer.
My uncle, who he went to visit, is a pilot and he told my dad that if he didn't help, they would have had to reroute the plane to the nearest airport, get all the passengers new tickets to their destination which would have cost the airline tons of money.
A few weeks after the incident, pops got a packet in the mail from the airline for 2 free round trip tickets anywhere in the US.
He's a good man.
To the last page for the best stories yet!
7/10) I was returning for my second year of medical school and a flight attendant came on the PA asking if there was a doctor on board. Since I was only a student, I sat in my place. A few minutes later, the request was asked again and I thought that I should at least see what can be done. I told a flight attendant that I was only a student and going into my second year and the flight attendant took me to the business class where a woman had passed out and was slowly regaining consciousness. Inside, I was thinking, holy shit, I haven't even seen a patient yet and here I am having to take care of one.
The woman just had a falling spell and had hit her head. A few moments later, a doctor showed up and told me to check her eyes to look for signs of a concussion, get her pulse, talk to her, and administer oxygen. He did the paperwork. A few minutes later, the woman was able to get up and go back to her seat and the doctor said I wasn't needed anymore.
The woman was fine, no concussion, very responsive, pulse was a little on the low side. After landing at our destination, she was taken to a hospital for further examination and I caught my connecting flight.
8/10) All my father's life he waited for the moment when this would happen. A few years ago it actually happened, a guy collapsed on his way back to his seat, in a movie theatre. The people he was with shouted for help, and finally my dad rose to the occasion, he ran up to them and halfway there, another doctor swooped in before him.
9/10) OK, so not a doctor, but on a flight from Sacramento to Denver a man had passed out and was unresponsive. Flight attendants fly into action - including attendant who is leaping from aisle armrest to aisle armrest to get to the front of the plane (over those that are in the aisle gawking). After their normal tactics don't work, a call for any doctors on the plane comes over the intercom. I kid you not, five people pop up and head to the front of the plane with their carry-ons - which contain emergency medical supplies. They work on the guy for about another 15 minutes, pilot has to drop the plane to 10,000 feet quickly (oh, that was fun) - which is apparently standard procedure during a medical emergency (don't want to get the bends from being too high altitude). Guy regains consciousness, but barely able to move. He's whisked off the plane once we arrive at the terminal - ambulance waiting on the tarmac.
Most exciting hour and a half flight I've ever had. Hoping I never have one that is any more exciting.
10/10) My sister-in-law is a nurse. She had to help out once when a diabetic who wasn't monitoring his blood sugar passed out. She gave him some OJ and some pretzels, and just kept an eye on him until we landed and paramedics met us at the gate. The flight crew was really grateful and gave her a couple bottles of wine (full bottles; I think they were selling them from a catalog, or maybe they were for first class passengers) and some other little things as a thank you!