A 41-year-old Nigerian banker identified as Toyin Ogundipe, aboard an Air France flight, was delivered of a baby boy mid-air about 35,000 feet above sea level and four hours away from the destination.
The mother of two who lives in the UK had gone into labour a week earlier than her delivery date, and was in childbirth pains and having contractions about 10 minutes apart.
The baby, who was named Jake, was delivered after a 30-minute labour, Mailonline states.
A second-year urology resident, Dr. Sij Hemal, who was also a passenger in the plane, helped with the delivery of the baby half-way through an eight-hour flight from Paris to New York.
Dr. Hemal, who spoke to Mailonline, said he was just glad everything went smoothly — and was relieved it all happened before he’d had any champagne.
He said, “We’re trained to stay calm and think clearly in emergency situations. I just tried to think ahead to what might go wrong and come up with a creative solution.”
While talking about his fear, he mentioned that his biggest fear was that the mother could die from bleeding or shock after birth.
But looking back, he insists it all went as well as it could have done.
“I thought I’d just have a drink and fall asleep. As it turned out, I’m glad I didn’t drink anything,” he said.
Dr. Hemal, who had been on vacation in New Dehli, India, was flying coach class via Paris and New York on his way back to Cleveland, Ohio, on December 17.
Coincidentally, when the flight attendants came to ask him for advice, the urologist at Cleveland Clinic’s Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute discovered he was seated next to Dr. Stefanie Ortolan, a pediatrician from France.
The pair were ushered over to Ogundipe, also in coach, who was complaining of chest pains and dizziness.
Ogundipe was in labour and having contractions about 10 minutes apart.
While the flight attendants took care of Ogundipe’s four-year-old daughter, Amy, the doctors used instruments and supplies in the flight’s medical kit to routinely check her blood pressure, oxygen rate, and pulse.
Within an hour, the contractions were coming more frequently, occurring seven, then five and finally two minutes apart.
“My initial plan was to monitor her and her vitals, but we did a cervical exam and that’s when her water broke,” he said.
“That’s when we knew we were going to deliver on the plane,” Dr. Hemal added.
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