Doctor saves plane passenger's life with spoon and toothpick

When crew on an Air China flight asked for a doctor, a medic responded and got creative in his effort to save a passenger who started seizing at 30,000 feet.

When the patient had fallen unconscious and began foaming at the mouth, Tian Yu, a medic who works for Longhua Hospital in Shanghai, realized these were symptoms of an epileptic seizure, Asia Wire Report (AWR) reported.

The flight, which was traveling between Kashgar and Urumqi in China’s Xinjiang region, had limited supplies, so Tian asked for a towel and a spoon, which he used to hold down the patient’s tongue to prevent him from choking.

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Tian, who has worked for seven years in the emergency department, used traditional Chinese medicine methods to help the patient regain consciousness once the seizures ended. Using a thin piece of wood, Tian stimulated pressure points on the man’s head to “activate the brain,” AWR reported. The man regained function and was well enough to sit up on his own to ask for water.

When the flight landed, Tian reminded the patient to carry epilepsy medication with him to avoid similar incidents in the future. Tian told AWR that epilepsy can be triggered during flights by the changing pressure and oxygen levels.