Chinese surgeon aids sick woman on Air Canada flight

PHOTO: Provided to China Daily

Hand surgeon Chen Yan sprang into action to help a passenger suffering convulsions and vomiting on an Air Canada flight from Toronto to Beijing on Jan 18, Jingchu News reported.

The cabin was quiet until the captain broadcast a message asking if there was a doctor onboard to provide emergency first aid to a Canadian woman, who was on her way to visit relatives in China. The airliner was above the Bering Strait at the time.

Startled from his sleep, Chen, who works at the Wuhan Pu'ai Hospital in Hubei province, notified a flight attendant that he was a surgeon.

The middle-aged passenger with an oxygen mask was convulsing violently when Chen approached. "I asked the passenger next to her for details on how the convulsions started, and guided the flight attendants to help me measure her blood pressure and breathing," the doctor said.

His soothing confidence calmed the patient and her shaking ceased.

Chen diagnosed the women as having gastrospasm, characterized by spasmic convulsions of the abdominal walls, and he instructed the flight attendants to prepare easily digestible warm food and to keep the patient in a half-reclining position.

Shortly that, the patient was feeling much better and removed her oxygen mask.

Chen's actions were applauded by Air Canada, who sent him a flight discount voucher in a thank-you letter.

"For a doctor, nothing is more fulfilling than saving people's lives," he said.

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