A 78-year-old woman, travelling on an Air India flight, had a near-death experience on Tuesday (May 29) after a gummy bear accidentally got lodged in her windpipe and almost choked her to death. The incident took place mid-air on a New Delhi to London flight.
However, the prompt action of a doctor couple travelling to London to attend a medical conference saved the old woman's life. The doctors, identified as Dr Anupam Goel and Dr Misha, and work at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi and kept resuscitating the woman till she regained consciousness.
"We were travelling to London to attend a conference on endoscopic surgery. Midway, there was an announcement about this woman collapsing suddenly and the need for a doctor. We volunteered to help," The Times of India quoted Goel as saying.
According to the doctors, the woman named Preetpal Kaur was unconscious, frothing from the mouth and her pulse was very weak. Initially, they were unable to determine the cause of her respiratory distress.
"Her blood pressure was also unrecordable. The patient was gasping. Her left pupil was dilated, which suggested neuro involvement. There was also wheezing, which suggested respiratory involvement. The cause of respiratory distress wasn't clear at that time," Goel explained while adding that they put her on intravenous normal saline, started ventilating with artificial manual breathing unit mask ventilation and oxygen.
It took the doctor couple around 40 minutes to revive her. '"The passengers on board were curiously looking at us trying to revive the patient; some of them praying for her too".
Meanwhile, the pilots contacted the Budapest airport authorities, who allowed them to carry out an emergency landing. Fortunately, the doctors managed to keep her from choking to death till the time the emergency landing was made, following which the Budapest airport's medical service took over.
The Budapest airport's medical service later took to Facebook to declare that the gummy bear had been removed from the patient's airway, which helped revived breathing and circulation.
The doctor couple's action was applauded by the Air India flight passengers and crew members, who presented them a bottle of premium champagne as a token of gratitude. "We did our job as doctors. There's nothing extraordinary about it," they said.