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Alba Iulia
Thursday, April 2, 2020

The dramatic situation experienced on the flight of the patient who hid his symptoms: “We had to go down to 10,000 feet because he was on the verge of death”

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Barely two hours had passed since the departure from the Barajas airport. A 78-year-old man began to feel bad and asked the hostesses for help. He had a cough and severe respiratory problems, two of the symptoms compatible with the coronavirus. Two doctors traveling on the plane volunteered to treat him and ended up saving his life. During the intervention, they discovered that the man had hidden his state of health to get on the plane. The heroic act of the doctors contrasts with the anguish of the rest of the passengers. Now, about 290 people who were traveling on that plane await confirmation of the test.

“At the beginning I was 66% saturated, I had fluid in my lungs. Dr. Yair Atum treated him first. He gave him oxygen and a diuretic “, related to Infobae Federico Riorda, an Air Force doctor who was traveling on Flight 1133. From then on, the two doctors worked together.

At first, the doctors were dedicated to the emergency, without the minimum security measures. They did not use a mask or gloves to attend to the patient. As the minutes went by, the protocol was activated inside the plane and everyone received their chinstraps.

In the midst of the crisis, selfishness again: a woman refused to wear the classic chinstraps. I wanted the model known as the N95. Several minutes passed before they decided to force her to sign an affidavit. Only then did he agree to put on his chinstrap.

Giglio was still fighting death. In their seats, the doctors set up a sort of makeshift operating room with the few items on the plane.

The doctors decided to speak to the pilot of the plane and together they made a complex decision: drop below 10,000 feet to decompress saturation in the lungs.

The passengers asked questions but no one moved. There was only one passenger who asked to change seats. I didn’t want to be around.

Giglio, who lives in the province of Neuquén, he had gone on vacation to Europe along with his wife, sister-in-law and brother-in-law. With the health crisis, they decided to suspend the trip and return to Argentina.

According to his relatives told the doctors, a week earlier he started with a fever. It got to be almost 39. He called the official numbers in Madrid several times and, always according to that version, they recommended that he take paracetamol. Last Sunday the picture worsened: it started with a cough and trouble breathing. However, he hid all the symptoms and got on an Airlines flight.

Riorda confirmed to Infobae that all passengers were checked at the Barajas airport. “They took the fever, I was looking case by case“He said. When they got on the plane, the commander spoke on the loudspeakers and asked that everyone comply with the quarantine upon arrival in Buenos Aires. He was excited. Nobody said anything. When the flight took off, they began to distribute the affidavits.

The most dramatic moment for the doctors occurred two hours before arriving in Ezeiza. “We spoke with the family and the pilot to see if they wanted to make an emergency landing in Rio de Janeiro. They decided to continue to Buenos Aires “, said Riorda, who is now quarantined at his home in the province of Córdoba.

Upon arrival in Ezeiza, the protocol was activated again. The 78-year-old man was taken to an ambulance with all the security measures to be taken to the Ezeiza hospital. His wife was also taken by ambulance with a picture of hypertension.

Then the passengers with their domicile in the province of Buenos Aires and in the rest of the country got off. Strikingly, everyone was able to return to their homes on their own. They got into taxis, remises and even buses.

In fact, Riorda was part of that group and went home by plane. “I took a taxi to go to Aeroparque. The first taxi driver did not want to take me because I explained the situation he had experienced. The second taxi driver agreed ”, counted from his home, where he goes through the quarantine. At their workplace they are already aware of the situation and have prepared a special protocol in case you need medical attention.

The passengers who had domicile in Capital were taken to the hotel Argenta Tower, where they are quarantined. And the crew were distributed in their houses.

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