The Department of Health says it has received thankful messages from several flight passengers after a “heroic” act by Health Deputy Minister, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo, who saved the life of a fellow passenger who experienced health complications aboard a flight.
The Deputy Minister was on a flight from Durban to Cape Town on Monday morning when a passenger alerted him to a female traveller who was in need of emergency medical assistance from anyone with a medical background.
“I was alerted by a passenger seated behind me in the plane that the cabin crew were asking for medical assistance to assist a passenger who was not well, and I had to quickly move from my seat to the seat next to the passenger and attended her,” Dhlomo said.
As a trained medical doctor, he said he first had to check the vital signs in order to detect any medical problems.
“Thanks to fellow passengers and the flight attendants who provided the medical kit and oxygen to enable me to stabilise the patient throughout the journey,” Dhlomo said.
When the pilots were talking about the possibility of diverting the flight, Dhlomo assured the crew that he could manage the situation until the scheduled destination.
He then handed over the patient to the paramedic team who had been waiting for the flight to land at Cape Town International Airport.
“This is in the nature of the Deputy Minister to contribute towards accelerating healthcare service delivery by regularly visiting health facilities and forensic pathology services around the country to lend his hand through performing post-mortems to enable the families to bury their loved ones on time,” the department said. – SAnews.gov.za