Louisville health department leader saves passenger on flight

The associate medical director of the Louisville (Ky.) Metro Health Department, SarahBeth Hartlage, MD, answered the call to action on a recent flight to treat a passenger, the Courier Journal reported March 16.

Dr. Hartlage was on a flight to Orlando, Fla., when the flight attendant called for a physician. She headed to the back of the plane, along with another physician and a nurse, to attend to a man who had suffered a medical emergency. She managed to insert an IV and listen to the man's heart using a stethoscope, all while kneeling in the aisle dealing with turbulence. 

Thanks to their help, the man's condition was kept stable enough for the plane not to have to make an emergency landing. He was not alert when landing but was met by an on-ground EMS crew. 

"Adrenaline is something I'm very used to," Dr. Hartlage told the Courier Journal, "but I have never done it on an airplane and certainly not one in turbulent skies. It was an interesting day, and I'm happy that it worked out. I hope he's doing well."

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