Lightning Strikes Twice: Local Doctor Saves Flight Attendant at 36,000 Feet

An otherwise uneventful flight from New York to Las Vegas to attend a research conference was interrupted with a little over an hour of flight time remaining by an overhead page for a “qualified medical professional.” Two key members of Premier Medical Group’s clinical staff leapt in to action.

Dr. Evan Goldfischer, managing partner at Premier came to the immediate aid of a 33 year-old flight attendant who had collapsed in the front of the plane. “She was lightheaded and dizzy but I was able to get a brief medical history and perform an initial assessment,” says Goldfischer, “and I was pleased that I could call on Kim Secord, our Clinical Research Manager and a nurse for assistance.” The flight crew provided the plane’s medical kit which allowed Dr. Goldfischer to administer medication while Secord monitored the patient. Following airline protocol, Dr. Goldfischer conferred with the plane’s crew who contacted STAT MD at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center regarding the flight attendant’s condition. Both Dr. Goldfischer and STAT MD agreed that there was a medical emergency and the pilot was able to expedite the flight’s arrival to Las Vegas by more than thirty minutes.

Upon landing, the flight was immediately met by paramedics who transported the flight attendant to a local medical facility in stable condition. “It was a difficult situation and I was grateful to have the support of the cabin crew and especially to have a trusted colleague like Kim available.” The patient was stabilized and was able to be transported safely to a hospital for additional care.

Delta Airlines representative Chris T. Joseph-Smith commented, “Thank you for your medical assistance on Flight 500. We truly appreciate your loyalty and all that you do.”

For many medical professionals, it is unusual to be called on to intervene in a medical emergency in-flight although this is not the first time for Goldfischer. In 2010, Dr. Goldfischer provided aid to a passenger on a flight from New York to Phoenix who experienced a seizure while on-board.

Check out the article from the Poughkeepsie Journal.