An IAS officer, also a doctor by training, and a Ranchi Sadar Hospital doctor, who were both on board a Delhi-bound IndiGo flight, rescued a baby who was suffering from congenital heart disease and developed severe breathing issues mid-air.
IAS officer Dr Nitin Kulkarni and Dr Mozammil Pheroz gave oxygen supply using a mask meant for adults and other drugs as emergency medical assistance.
After an hour when the flight from Ranchi landed, a medical team took over the care for the baby and provided oxygen support. The parents were taking the baby to AIIMS Delhi for treatment of the heart’s condition.
On Saturday, the air crew made an emergency announcement twenty minutes into the flight and sought medical assistance from any doctor on board for the distressed baby.
Kulkarni, presently the principal secretary to the Governor of Jharkhand and Dr Mozammil Pheroz from Sadar Hospital, Ranchi came forward to save the child.
"The mother was crying as the baby was gasping for breath. Me and Dr Mozammil took over care of the baby. Oxygen was supplied through an adult mask as somehow no baby mask or cannula was available,” Dr Kulkarni said.
“We checked the medical records. The baby suffered from a congenital heart condition, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). They were going to AIIMS for it," he added.
How did the doctors save the baby?
The doctor said that they gave the baby an injection Theophylline from the drugs kit.
The parents were carrying injection Dexona, which proved very helpful, he said.
After the injections, the baby showed some improvement signs, after which its oxygen and heartbeat was being monitored with a stethoscope.
Lack of an oximeter made it difficult to assess the oxygen saturation status, Kulkarni said.
"First 15-20 minutes were very crucial and stressful as it was difficult to gauge the progress. Finally the eyes became normal and the baby also made sounds," he said.
The doctor lauded the cabin crew for their prompt support and said that they were very helpful.
"We requested for priority landing and full medical support on arrival," Kulkarni said.
The flight landed at 9.25 am and the medical team rushed in to provide the baby with oxygen support.
“We were happy and satisfied with the outcome of our efforts of more than an hour," Kulkarni said.
Another co-passenger congratulated the two doctors for saving the baby on X.
"Doctors are God-sent angels. Today, I saw one saving a 6-month-old baby on board Indigo [flight]. Dr. Nitin Kulkarni, IAS, Governor House in Jharkhand took on his role as a doctor and saved the kid. Salute to you sir," AS Deol wrote on X.
(With PTI inputs)