She was placed on an oxygen mask and felt improved. Her daughter escorted her back to her seat. I retained a generally ill feeling about her prognosis, but had no additional ideas of what could be done to help this woman. Over the
next hours I checked on the patient frequently and stroked her gently. At some point further into the flight her daughter reported new episodes where she became less responsive. Her physical exam was unchanged, so I perched myself at the edge of her seat to observe her more closely. Periodically she became clammy with a weak, rapid pulse and her blood pressure dipped. I wondered about pulmonary emboli. I also wondered if she had an underlying illness such as cancer (or TB?). Frankly I was GSK458 not sure what to do, but informed the flight attendants and then the Captain that I thought she had become more acutely GDC 0449 ill and may not make it to our intended destination, Atlanta. We needed to divert if possible. Over the years I have learned that the
Captain’s decision to divert a flight is not made lightly. I have been told that the cost to the airline is greater than 100,000 USD. I also realized that many passengers would lose their connections throughout the United States and the inconvenience to everyone would be not insignificant. However, the Captain and crew were understanding, and the Captain announced that we would land in Minneapolis, Minnesota due to a passenger emergency. I am not clear on how much time elapsed during all of these events, but I soon felt us descending. As we crossed through layers of clouds, the air became more turbulent and my footing less stable. The passenger next to the patient moved to my seat, Phosphatidylethanolamine N-methyltransferase but I did not feel comfortable just sitting down and watching what was unfolding next to me. The patient’s blood pressure began to drop precipitously. The purser obtained
the automatic external defibrillator (AED) and we placed the leads on her chest. Her heart rate, once rapid, became slow, and then flat-line. Unfortunately there was no rhythm to shock. The ambubag was a bit cumbersome, but one of the flight attendants helped me secure it and oxygenate her while I periodically did chest compressions. Another flight attendant held me steady as we landed and pulled up to the gate. During all these events, the cabin was silent except for the daughter who was crying loudly. I was totally focused and did not even think to don gloves or concern myself with infection control issues. Immediately upon landing in Minneapolis, the emergency medical technicians (EMTs) entered the cabin quickly along with customs officials. Although the situation was grave, the daughter told the EMTs that she wanted “Everything done for her mother.” Despite the continued efforts of the arrest team on the jetway, the patient expired. There was a 3-hour delay prior to our eventual take-off and arrival in Atlanta.