A Riyadh-based doctor from Aster DM Healthcare successfully delivered a child born on board a Saudia flight between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, the company announced on Monday.
In a statement, Aster DM said the flight was mid-flight and cruising at a high altitude when the mother went into labour.
With an emergency landing unfeasible, obstetrics and gynaecology consultant Dr. Jan Saret sprang into action.
According to the doctor, attempts were made to stall the delivery until the plane landed, which could have led to complications for the mother and her unborn child. Faced with few options, the doctor was forced to deliver the baby mid-flight.
“When it became evident what we would no longer be able to stall the delivery, I made the decision to put the lives of the mother and the baby first,” the doctor said.
“This was the first time for me to deliver a baby under such circumstances but I can confidently say that my work at Aster Sanad and the spirit of going beyond boundaries to be able to help people in need, encouraged me to save the mother and the baby.”
In a similar incident on April 23, Saudia announced that cabin crew and a doctor who happened to be on board a Jeddah-Cairo flight delivered a baby after a passenger reported being in pain about an hour a half into the flight.
Upon closer inspection, two members of Saudia cabin crew found that the passenger was going into labour, at which point a Saudi gynaecologist on board stepped in to deliver the baby using on-board medical equipment.
In 2017, a baby born on a Jet Airways flight between Saudi Arabia and the Indian city of Kochi was granted a free life-time travel pass on the airline.