An Orange County plastic surgeon who was on board a flight from London to Los Angeles helped to stabilize one of the flight attendants who was injured due to turbulence.
The United Airlines plane was diverted to Montreal for an emergency landing in order to care for the flight attendant who suffered a severe injury, as she had an open fracture in her lower left leg. Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Bayati, who was sitting near the front of the plane at the time of the incident, claims she soon heard an announcement over the intercom system asking if there was a doctor on board.
“I thought maybe it was a person with chest pains, something like that. I was not expecting what I found back there,” said Bayati.
When Dr. Bayati got to the victim, she found a 50-year old flight attendant who had suffered a major open fracture to both bones in the lower part of her leg.
“She was losing a lot of blood, and she was in a lot of pain. There was no medication (narcotics) on board, so I had to improvise with what we had. I managed to re-set the leg and reduce the fracture. Since there were no splints available, I used a crutch that one of the other passengers gave us to provide a makeshift splint, and bound it to her leg with a seatbelt used in the flight attendants’ safety demonstrations.”
Receiving help from other passengers, Dr. Bayati says that they managed to move the woman to a more comfortable position in first class, where Bayati sat with the flight attendant until the plane landed. Dr. Bayati started an IV line and went on to perform frequent neurovascular checks to assure the viability of the woman’s left foot.
After speaking to the FAA and a doctor at the Pittsburgh Trauma Center, a mutual decision was made to land the plane at the closest airport, which at the time was Montreal.
“With an open fracture, you have to get the patient to surgery within two hours to reduce the risk of infection and the possibility of a limb threatening complication called compartment syndrome.”
Out of the 196 passengers on the flight, a total of six were injured, yet the flight attendant was injured the most. Dr. Bayati said that although the event was unexpected, she was glad she could assist. “I’m really happy I was there to help her. She’s a very nice lady who had a very serious injury. Everyone, the crew of United and the passengers, were very helpful in trying to get her comfortable.”
Dr. Semira Bayati is a board-certified plastic surgeon and a diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. She is also a member of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and Upper Extremity and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. Dr. Bayati is known for her skills in the field of Cosmetic Surgery. Her main focus includes facial rejuvenation, breast enhancement, body contouring and the Mommy Makeover in Orange County.