A duo of second year med students headed to Greece for a summer holiday ending up getting some extra practice onboard their flight after a fellow passenger became ill.
Med Students Save The Day After Passenger Falls Ill On Delta Flight To New York
Lauren Bagneris and Heather Duplessis will start their second year of medical school together at Louisiana State University this fall. Before their trip, they even discussed the possibility of being ready to step up if the situation arose. Bagneris told The Washington Post:
“We were definitely mentally preparing, and I don’t know if that was just God putting us in the right mind-set for that situation. We’ve never discussed anything like that before.”
Prophetic or not, an incident did arise on the first leg of their journey from New Orleans to Athens via New York on Delta. Seated in the back of the plane, the ladies noticed a passenger fall. Moments later a flight attendant asked if there were any medical professionals onboard.
Bagneris and Duplessis looked around furtively, but when no one stepped up, they did, identifying themselves as medical students. The flight attendant welcomed them to help and they promptly spoke to the patient, took the her blood pressure, pulse, and glucose level.
It was determined, in consultation with a doctor on the ground, that the woman had become lightheaded and fallen because she was suffering from overheating and low blood sugar.
After providing her some juice and food, the woman felt much better and the rest of the flight was uneventful, as was there transatlantic connection to Athens.
Practicing in a professional field without the requisite license should be reserved for situations in which there is no other alternative. This is one such case. With no one else stepping up, I’d far rather have two medical students examine me than two flight attendants or pilots.
Great job Lauren and Heather!
image: LSU Health Sciences Center
Well done them!
I still remember the time I was within an arms reach of delivering a baby on a plane. I’m a trauma surgeon and I haven’t done so since med school!
Great story! See, not a story where the two African American women, which they appear to be unless it’s just an underexposed photo with bad lighting, didn’t get handcuffed and insulted for not really being a doctor (they will be but are still early in their medical training).
The sick passenger should be checked. Their diagnosis is plausible but so is a heart murmur that can cause fainting. See, it’s not easy to be a doctor….you have to, at least, stay at a Holiday Inn Express.
I did, the last hotel stay before the pandemic.
My wife is an actual doctor, not a student, and Alitalia wouldn’t even let her touch a pax who fell ill on our return from FCO – MIA because she wasn’t carrying a copy of her medical license with her 10 years ago. There was another doctor onboard who did and he helped out.
The woman is very lucky as first year med students usually know nothing and have barely even seen a real patient..Shame on a real Dr or Nurse not coming forward. Lufthansa knows your occupation and comes to your seat to escort you to the person having issues….