title: Hurley alumna Mangat and husband save life on flight to Phoenix
tags: [residents, alumni, graduates]
category: gme/blog image: ‘/img/gme/blog/flint-downtown-looking-south-on-saginaw_2015_doug-pike.jpg’ published: false postedby: name: Julie Campe tagged: - name: Combined Internal Medicine Pediatrics link: /gme/residencies-and-fellowships/combined-internal-medicine-pediatrics/ - name: Pediatrics link: /gme/residencies-and-fellowships/pediatrics/ - name: Transitional Year link: /gme/residencies-and-fellowships/transitional-year/ - — Most of us remember Chetna Mangat MD as the Pediatric resident with the big smile, the one who received the CATCH grant with Esther Kisseih MD to promote smoke-free rides in cars with children, the one whose face beamed when talking about her son Ansh, who she delivered while a first-year resident in Hurley Medical Center’s Pediatric Residency Training Program.
But now we can add another tale about this 2014 Hurley Pediatrics graduate and her husband, Gagandeep Sing MD: The two saved the life of a passenger aboard a flight from Minneapolis, Minn., to Phoenix, Ariz.
As reported in Mayo Clinic’s Dec. 5, 2017, newsletter and blog, In the Loop:
The plane had reached cruising altitude and the flight attendants were serving drinks when suddenly, the routine trip from Minneapolis to Phoenix took a dramatic turn. A passenger had gone into cardiac arrest and become unresponsive. The woman’s companion and flight attendants began calling for help.
Fortunately, help was close at hand. Very close. Not one, but two doctors were sitting directly behind the ailing passenger. When they heard the commotion, Chetna Mangat, M.D., and her husband, Gagandeep Singh, M.D., quickly put their medical skills to work.
“My husband jumped up and found that the woman had no pulse,” Dr. Mangat, a pediatrician at Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, tells the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram. “Without wasting any time, he pulled her onto the floor in the aisle and we started active CPR.”
Dr. Mangat performed chest compressions while her husband, a family practice doctor who also cares for patients in the emergency department, began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Two other passengers with medical backgrounds came to help. They checked the woman’s heart rhythm and determined she would not need to be shocked. After “four or five minutes” of CPR, the woman’s heart began beating again and she resumed consciousness.
“It was a great feeling,” Dr. Singh says of the experience. “I can say, ‘Well, we did something good.’” And something rare. According to the American Heart Association, only about 10 percent of people who have an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest survive. The odds are even worse, we suspect, for those whose cardiac arrest occurs 30,000 feet above the ground.
The plane made an emergency landing in Lincoln, Nebraska, where an ambulance was waiting for the patient. Dr. Mangat and Dr. Singh eventually made it to Arizona, where they were attending a medical conference. When they arrived, they had “quite a story” to tell their boss, Richard Helmers, M.D., regional vice president, Mayo Clinic Health System, Northwest Wisconsin.
“Getting the call, ‘Is there a doctor on the plane?’ is very stressful,” says Dr. Helmers. “You’re suddenly asked to provide medical care to someone you don’t know in front of 200 people without any equipment.” He says the couple’s response to the call was “admirable” and “undoubtedly, saved this woman’s life.”
The patient and many other passengers on the flight thanked Dr. Mangat and Dr. Singh for those lifesaving efforts. The airline also emailed its thanks. Dr. Mangat says the thanks, while appreciated, is unnecessary. She insists that she and her husband were just doing their jobs that day. “I just feel like I performed my duty,” Dr. Mangat tells the Leader-Telegram. “We were happy that the outcome was good.”
While they never learned the patient’s name, Dr. Mangat and Dr. Singh are grateful to have played a role in her survival. “It was a good feeling,” Dr. Mangat says, “to know that somebody needed help and you could do that.”
This blog excerpt was used with permission from the Mayo Clinic’s In the Loop. It first appeared online Dec. 5, 2017, here.