A family medicine doctor on a plane from Jeju Island to Seoul saved a pregnant woman who went unconscious.
Goh Byeong-soo, who runs Tapdong 365 Clinic in Jeju, got on Asiana Airlines OZ8904 at 7:55 a.m. departing from the Jeju International Airport on Thursday, to participate in a symposium at the Press Center in Seoul to promote the introduction of the general practitioner system in Korea. The Korean Academy of Family Medicine organized the event.
|Goh Byeong-soo, director of Tapdong 365 Clinic in Jeju|
About 20 minutes after takeoff, Goh heard an announcement that there was an urgent pregnant patient on the plane and went to treat her immediately. The woman was in her 30s, a resident of Jeju Province, who was 16 weeks pregnant. She lost consciousness and fainted.
“It was an urgent situation, but she did not need cardiopulmonary resuscitation. I checked that her heart and lungs had no problem,” he told Korea Biomedical Review over the phone. “She was breathing but unconscious. She had vasovagal syncope.”
Vasovagal syncope is a condition in which the autonomic nerves become temporarily abnormal, and the blood in the head falls to the body, making the person faint, he explained.
“If the fainting got long, it might have endangered the fetus as well. So I raise her legs so that the blood can flow into her head,” Goh said.
Because the pregnant woman was all alone on the plane, Goh stayed with her even after they got off the plane. Then, he left her after checking she got on a wheelchair and was moved by other staffs, he said.
As his act drew media attention, he modestly said, “It wasn’t about saving a life but making the situation better.”
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