The timely intervention of two doctors on board a Ranchi-Delhi flight saved a six-month-old baby with congenital heart disease who developed severe breathing difficulties on the flight.
The parents were taking the baby to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi for treatment. However, just after take-off, the baby developed breathing difficulties.
Worried parents informed the crew about the situation, and an announcement was made on the flight to find any doctors on board.
A doctor from Ranchi Sadar Hospital, Dr. Mozammil Pheroz, and an IAS officer, Dr. Nitin Kulkarni, who is also a doctor by training, came to the child’s rescue.
The doctors provided oxygen supply to the child using a mask meant for adults. After checking medical records, other emergency drugs were also administered, including a Theophylline injection. The parents had a Dexona injection with them, which helped manage the situation.
“The mother was crying as the baby was gasping for breath. Dr. Mozammil and I took over the care of the baby. Oxygen was supplied through an adult mask as somehow no baby mask or cannula was available,” Dr. Kulkarni said.
After giving emergency drugs and oxygen assistance, the baby showed some signs of improvement. The doctor said that the first 15-20 minutes were “very crucial and stressful” as it was difficult to gauge progress. However, within a short time, the baby started making sounds and opening eyes, giving a big relief to the parents.
“We checked the medical records. The baby suffered from a congenital heart condition, patent ductus arteriosus (PDA),” Dr Kulkarni said.
The doctors requested priority landing and full medical support on arrival. The flight landed after an hour, and the baby was handed over to a medical team.
“We were happy and satisfied with the outcome of our efforts of more than an hour,” Kulkarni, who is currently the principal secretary to the Governor of Jharkhand, said.
A co-passenger who witnessed the situation took to X to congratulate the doctors.
“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,” the passenger AS Deol wrote on X.