Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Nurse at University Hospitals Sussex delivers baby on flight

Leela Baby, who is a senior oncology nurse at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, volunteered for action after a woman who was only seven months pregnant went into labour on their Air India flight from Heathrow to India.

Within a couple of hours Simi Maria Phillip had given birth to baby Shawn, and the flight was diverted from its flight path to India, and touched down in Frankfurt, so that mother and baby could be taken to hospital.

Leela was helped by Dr Inshad Ibrahim, an A&E physician from North Wales, and Dr Richu Philip, a junior doctor working at Birmingham City Hospital, who were both on the flight and offered their services.

Upon arriving in Cochin, India after their stop off in Frankfurt, Germany – Leela was presented with an award in October for her assistance in safely delivering the baby.

Leela said: “I was travelling with my husband, Joseph, from Heathrow to Cochin, when all of a sudden there was an announcement asking for any experienced doctors or nurses on board who can help with an emergency labour.

“It’s a long time since I delivered a baby so I waited at first but when a second announcement went out I came forward and volunteered.

“They asked me if I had experience working in labour and I said I have experience of working in labour when I first started working as a nurse in India, and although I’m working as a chemotherapy nurse now, I am confident I can help.

“They told me there was a woman - Simi - who's 29 weeks pregnant and in emergency labour.

“I then went ahead and asked Simi how she was doing and how the pain was. She said she was in a lot of pain and that she was having contractions. Soon after this, her waters broke so we took her to a bed by the cabin crew area.

“We examined her and the baby's head was crowning. Then we delivered the baby safely. Both mother and baby were safe. Whilst the doctors looked after the baby, I carefully took out the placenta.

“The flight then landed in Frankfurt, Germany and both mother and baby were taken to the University hospital.”

After getting her award for excellence, Leela said she did not expect it but was grateful to receive one.

She added: “I am in touch with Simi and she and the baby are doing fine now. I am just glad I, and others, was able to help.

“It was nice, and much unexpected, to be given the award. It was certainly an eventful flight!”

30/11/21 George Carden/Argus

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