Doctor on a Plane Uses a Hair Tie and Whiskey To Save a Man Mid-Flight

Dr. Patricia Quinlan of Pennsylvania was en route to San Francisco when a man took ill...and she took action.

A Pennsylvania doctor who was onboard a plane when a man took seriously ill found herself treating him with what she had handy: a hair tie and some booze.

Dr. Patricia Quinlan was en route to San Francisco via Philadelphia on Thanksgiving Day when the passenger across the aisle passed out and fell out of his seat, reports Morning Call.

"I thought, 'Hopefully, he just fell asleep,'" Quinlan said. However, his blood pressure had, in fact, plummeted and was dangerously low.

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Quinlan discovered the man's heart rate was normal, so there was no need for her to use the plane's onboard defibrillator.

However, something was clearly wrong with the man.

Flight staff gave Quinlan the saline IV bag that was kept on board. However, there was no rubbing alcohol to disinfect the needle, so Quinlan thought fast and sterilized it with whiskey.

Another problem arose immediately thereafter when no tourniquet could be found. Quinlan's brilliant substitution: her own hair tie.

After 20 minutes of unconsciousness, Quinlan--with the help of her onboard assistants--got the man to come to, though not for good.

“It took us about 90 minutes to get him upright. We’d lift him a little and he’d pass out again,” she said.

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Quinlan eventually determined the man had taken blood pressure mediation and was "very, very dehydrated."

The man, who was en route to China via San Francisco, was able to walk off the plane under his own power.

While Quinlan was also more than able to walk herself off the plane, she did so with the help of the grateful pilot, who insisted on carrying her luggage. 

The flight crew also wrote her a thank you note for "going above and beyond" and gave her a nickname: Doctor Angel.

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