AS A medical healthcare worker, it is part of their duty to be of service to anyone who is in need, especially in times of emergency, regardless if it is within the confinements of the hospital or outside.
Nurse Jimwell Damag Paculba of Tagum Medical City was from Davao to Manila on Wednesday, November 16 for a scheduled examination.
The first 15 minutes after the flight took off and left Francisco Bangoy International Airport (Davao International Airport), Paculba noticed that one of the passengers in front of him called one of the flight attendants to seek assistance.
Another attendant approached the passenger and eventually asked for any assistance from medical professionals who were onboard that flight.
At first, he didn't mind standing up, assuming that the passenger might just have been experiencing panic attacks due to the anxiety caused by the flight considering there was some slight turbulence during that time.
He said four doctors attended to the patient, who is a foreigner around his 50s.
Later on, one of the flight attendants grabbed a medical kit on the plane.
With no hesitation, he eventually approached and offered assistance, informing them that he is an emergency room (ER) nurse.
"Pagtan-aw nako sa pasyente, naglagom na siya, then nakita nako nga naglisod siya og ginhawa (When I looked at the patient, he was already pale, and that he is struggling to breathe)," Paculba said.
One of the doctors instructed that the patient be injected with dextrose. The nurse offered to do it.
While attending to the patient, he noticed that the passenger's vital signs are getting weak, and the patient now is having seizures.
"Restless siya [the patient], unya giistorya siya, mutubag man siya pero di siya masabtan (The patient is restless, and when you ask him, he responds but sounds gibberish)," Paculba said.
Due to the limited medical equipment, he can do so little, but he, along with the doctors onboard, did their best to save the passenger's life.
In a few minutes, the passenger gained consciousness.
The lead doctor recommended that the plane should have an emergency landing at Mactan International Airport in Cebu, where the foreign passenger was rushed to the hospital. Thankfully, he is now safe.
The flight proceeded to its destination at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
Surprisingly, he was unaware that one of the doctors who responded to the patient is Dr. Flor Andres of Davao de Oro Provincial Hospital.
"Didto nako sa Manila nakabantay na kaila diay nako ang isa sa mga doctor. Wala nako nabantayan dayon tungod nag-focus man gud ko og asikaso sa pasyente ato na time (Upon arriving in Manila, I recognized one of the doctors. I wasn't able to notice her because I was focused in looking up to the patient)," Paculba said.
For many years in the medical field, it was his first time encountering such an emergency situation outside his workplace.
"Di nako matawag na (I won't say that) I was at the right place at the right time, pero siguro meant ko nga naa ko ato nga flight kay ang Ginoo, wala mi pasagdi, gi-guide mi niya ato nga time, nga di mi mag-blackout ato nga higayon (but maybe I was really meant to be at that because God guided us at that time, that we won't blackout at that time)," he said.
"Unexpected kaayo to, pero nakabuhat mi og tama nga desisyon sa pagtabang sa pasyente (It was unexpected but we were able to something right, and we were able to save the patient)," he added.
He felt proud to be in that nerve-wracking situation, and this made him more proud to be a medical frontliner.
Meanwhile, he encouraged everyone to learn basic life support as emergencies are unpredictable.
He said basic life support training skills save lives as it takes care of critical medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest management. Without immediate and appropriate attention, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims and those with obstructed airways can lose their lives.
"Be alert always. Likayan mag-ratol, mag-panic. Wa kay mabuhat ana. (Avoid panicking. You won't be able to accomplish something out of it.)," he said. RGL