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Medical Emergency Outstanding Flight crew

Explorer C

AUS to ABQ flight 2135  11/26/22


The boarding for this flight had just finished, door still open, when a FA announced “are there any medical personnel on board.”  I am a general surgeon in Austin, also on board were an ICU nurse, 2 nurse practitioners, and an ER physician. A man in the last row, had slumped over, not breathing and pulseless.  With  the assistance of a FA, we placed him on he deck, and started CPR. The FAs were instrumental in getting us the AED. Oxygen, and medical kit which included a bag valve mask, IV equipment etc., and moving passengers to give us room to work. We continued until EMS arrived, AED had delivered a number of “shocks” at the preset intervals determined by the AED.  After about 15 minutes EMS arrived, and return of heartbeat and circulation was achieved. The patient was transported to the hospital, where a team was able to perform a cardiac cath. He had a 100% acute occlusion of the main artery to The left ventricle which was successfully opened and stented. He survived, neurologically intact and returned to ABQ on the same flight 12/22.  kudos to the entire multitude of EMS, ER/cardiology/



Re: Medical Emergency Outstanding Flight crew

Frequent Flyer A

Awesome story!  

Re: Medical Emergency Outstanding Flight crew

Explorer C

Post cut off early


this was posted to acknowledge the flight crew who need recognition 

The flight crew all acted very professionally in a high stress situation.  Since I live in Austin and practice with Austin Regional Clinic at South Austin hospital I was able to follow along during his hospitalization, and get to know the patient wife and family. (I flew to ABQ Saturday and came back the next day-I have a long-standing SWA LUV story of my own)

The flight attendant went above and beyond, staying in contact with the wife. She was also able to facilitate contact withe the other rescue personnel and we all were able to communicate through a group text.  After the cardiac arrest on the flight, and the  AED, and Medical kit were replenished-FAA paperwork done we started our journey. The flight crew had to shake it off and provide the usual inflight service and safety service as If nothing had happened.  Their calm manner is a testament to the high quality employees of SWA and  their training. It is shocking to see someone drop dead-even for medical personnel. The follow up concern and communication afterwards was above and beyond. Dr Epstein, the ER doc has connections with KOB TV Albuquerque. He felt the story could help in a public health role, by getting more people trained in CPR, and more awareness of AEDs  KOB TV put together two segments which aired, including interviews with the patient and his wife upon the return home. (On the very same flight!)  We felt SWA could help tell the story, and the reporter contacted SWA media relations to no avail-maybe preoccupied with the winter storm. 
dr Epstein and I both emailed southwest-to compliment the flight crew. I have been unsuccessful In an attempt to contact talk with anybody in the corporate office. We are all planning a reunion celebration with the family when he is fully recovered, as all the medical personnel, excepting me live in New Mexico. We hope the flight attendants can attend, as well. Dr Epstein and I both feel strongly that SWA can help facilitate public awareness for CPR, and AEDs by this feel good story. I’m not in media, but it seems like it would generate goodwill for SWA.  The flight crew were integral to this great outcome-please acknowledge them.

thanks Joseph Garcia MD

Re: Medical Emergency Outstanding Flight crew

Aviator A

@Jgarcia0916 wrote:


You (everyone) saved a life. It doesn't get any more significant than that.


People that tomorrow could have awakened to an awful Christmas, will instead awaken to 

the best gift they could  possibly receive: life.