Flight passenger’s life saved at Northwick Park Hospital thanks to an ipad

Glyn Danks with Dr Rakesh Patel and the life saving team at Northwick Park

Glyn Danks with Dr Rakesh Patel and the life saving team at Northwick Park - Credit: Archant

A plane passenger’s life was saved at Northwick Park Hospital thanks to a speedy response from emergency services and an ipad.

Glyn Danks had boarded his Etihad Airways flight home to Australia on August 22 after spending five weeks visiting family in the UK.

But just as his plane began pushing back from the Heathrow terminal the 68-year-old lost consciousness, collapsed and stopped breathing.

Flight crews immediately began CPR and called the airport’s emergency services who had him rushed to Hillingdon Hospital.

Images from his CT scan were sent electronically to Dr Rakesh Patel, consultant interventional radiologist at Northwick Park, who could see on his ipad that Glyn had a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, a swelling in the main blood vessel (the aorta) that runs from the heart down through the chest and tummy, and urgently needed life saving treatment or die.

Dr Patel said: “I work at Hillingdon and Northwick Park, which are two separate trusts.

I have an iPad, provided by Hillingdon, which allows me to access patient information and CT scans. Fortunately I had it here at Northwick Park when the registrar came in and said, ‘we have got this referral from Hillingdon’.

Most Read

“I took the iPad out, saw that the patient had a ruptured aneurysm and said, ‘The patient needs to be transferred now.’”

The operation was carried out by a team of surgeons and radiologists at the Watford Park hospital.

Glyn, who is now back in Perth, said: “I went on the plane as normal and as I sat down there was a vacant seat beside me. I thought it was nice that I had a spare seat and I didn’t feel ill at all.

“The next thing I remember is waking up on the floor of the plane. I could see lots of feet and I could hear lots of different people shouting and giving lots of advice.”

He said: “Everyone who looked after me was brilliant. Everything happened in a straight line – it all worked and could not have been better. I’ve had no pain or discomfort following the operation and the procedure has been marvellous. I feel very privileged and grateful to be here. I will make my life as good as possible for the however many years I’ve got left.”