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Did you hear the one about the policeman, the doctor and the pharmacist at 30 000 feet?
  1. David Thomas Monks1,
  2. Martin Springer2,
  3. Ramon Goomber3,
  4. P C Ming Li4
  1. 1Department of Anaesthetics, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Beijing United Family Hospital, Beijing, China
  3. 3Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
  4. 413 Division, Toronto Police Service, Toronto, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr David Thomas Monks, davetmonks{at}


This is the remarkable story of survival against all the odds. A passenger had a myocardial infarction complicated by a witnessed cardiac arrest while on a commercial flight through some of the most remote airspace on the planet. Immediate cardiopulmonary resuscitation and use of an automatic external defibrillator achieved rapid return of spontaneous circulation. Passengers and crew worked effectively together, under the guidance of a physician, to provide critical care to the patient while the flight diverted so he could be transferred to an emergency hospital in Beijing for eventual thrombolysis and postresuscitation care. He made a rapid and full recovery to be discharged from hospital, neurologically intact, 10 days later.

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