When Delta cabin crew inquired Wednesday whether a doctor was on board to help a passenger who had passed out, they probably weren’t expecting to get help from “America’s Doctor.”
But Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who was standing just outside the flight at the airport, eagerly answered the call on Wednesday.
“On my Delta flight to Jackson, Mississippi (by way of Atlanta), and they asked if there was a doctor on board to help with a medical emergency – why yes – yes there was,” he said, posting a selfie on Twitter. “Patient doing well and like a good USPHS officer, I was glad to be able to assist!”
The USPHS stands for the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, a division of the federal government’s health agency.
On my @Delta flight to Jackson, Mississippi (by way of Atlanta), and they asked if there was a Doctor on board to help with a medical emergency- why yes- yes there was. Patient doing well and like a good #USPHS officer, I was glad to be able to assist! pic.twitter.com/N9HdY3py6G
— U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General)
May 16, 2018
The surgeon general’s office disclosed that Adams, along with two nurses, responded to a call for emergency help from the Delta flight crew while they were waiting on the tarmac for their departure from the Fort Lauderdale airport. A passenger had lost consciousness and the crew needed help with evaluating the person’s condition.
The passenger regained consciousness, but Adams ultimately determined it was necessary to have the person get off the flight and go back to the gate before being evaluated in a hospital. Adams called the patient’s spouse and explained the situation.
He and the nurses escorted the patient off the plane and to medics who were called to the gate.
His office reported that the “patient was stable and thankful for the help.” Details of the patient’s gender and age were not disclosed.
Flight crews will issue similar requests for a doctor when passengers face a medical emergency, which can range from a heart attack, stroke or panic attack, or to administer an injection. According to a 2013 study in New England Journal of Medicine, medical emergencies happen in about 1 out of 600 commercial flights.
The surgeon general is an anesthesiologist by training and was health commissioner in Indiana before taking on his current role, in which he has been a vocal advocate on preventing and treating opioid addictions.
On Thursday he scheduled to visit the University of Mississippi Medical Center with Republican Gov. Phil Bryant to discuss what steps the administration is taking to combat the opioid crisis.