In the not so distant 1995 two British doctors, Angus Wallace and Tom Wong – an orthopedic specialist and a senior doctor, saved a woman’s life during a flight from Hong Kong to London.
Paula Dixon, their patient, was involved in a motorcycle accident while she was on her way to the airport. During the flight, one of her lungs collapsed. It turned out the plane’s first aid kid wasn’t much of a help in such an unfortunate situation, so the medics had to improvise. They used a coat hanger, which they slipped inside a catheter tube from the first aid kit. They pushed the rubber tube through the woman’s chest and managed to drain out her lung. Wallace and Wong used brandy as a disinfectant. Reportedly, the woman was conscious throughout the whole operation.
The plane carried its whole 14 hours long flight and the woman was immediately sent to a hospital in London, where her condition was stabilized and her lung recovered.