Cardiologist saved by paramedics after heart attack at Dublin Airport

Doctor on flight from Manchester said quick and effective response saved his life

The staff who helped save Dr Farqad Alamgir at Dublin Airport

The staff who helped save Dr Farqad Alamgir at Dublin Airport

 

A UK-based consultant cardiologist who has spent decades saving the lives of others had his own life saved by paramedics at Dublin Airport after suffering a heart attack on a flight from Manchester.

Dr Farqad Alamgir was travelling to Ireland recently where he works in a number of hospitals when he took ill. He was initially tended to by an Aer Lingus staff member who administered CPR until airport police and fire service responders arrived.

The airport’s advanced paramedics administered life-saving drugs at the scene and used a defibrillator to administer several shocks before transferring the medic to the Mater hospital where he underwent emergency heart bypass surgery.

Dr Alamgir has worked for 30 years resuscitating patients who present with acute heart attacks but never imagined he would find himself on the other side of the fence.

“I remember getting off the aircraft at Dublin Airport, then the next memory I have is waking up in the coronary care unit in the Mater hospital,” he said.

“I now know that Dublin Airport’s first responders used the Lucas CPR system giving me four shocks initially then the skills of their advanced paramedic team administered urgent advanced lifesaving drugs via an intraosseous needle into my shin, bringing me back after 17 minutes of downtime.”

He said the speed of the response “not only saved my life, but the resuscitation was so effective that I have not suffered any neurological or cardiac muscle damage”.

Dr Alamgir said he was “so grateful and thankful to the team at Dublin Airport, the ambulance crews and the team at the Mater for giving me another opportunity to spend more time with my family”.

Dublin Airport Chief Fire Officer Gerry Keogh said it was hugely rewarding and humbling when a passenger walks through the door to thank the team for saving their life.

“Our defibrillator programme began in 2003 and since then we have increased our defibrillator numbers to over 50 around the airport’s campus. We also have two fully-trained advanced paramedics and two in training, and their new skills greatly enhance the emergency medical response to any incident at the airport.”

He said that every life saved by the defibrillator programme had a profoundly positive impact on a wide range of people.

The airport’s defibrillator CPR programme was introduced in 2003 and the airport said it had saved 32 lives since then.