DiversityNursing Blog

Nurses Save United Pilot Having Possible Heart Attack Mid-Flight

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Jan 17, 2014 @ 10:13 AM

By 

Talk about high drama.

In an emergency situation called straight out of a movie, two nurses saved a United Airlines pilot having a possible heart attack mid-flight last month.

Thirty minutes into a flight from Des Moines, Iowa, to Denver on Dec. 30, an intercom announcement requested medical expertise. Linda Alweiss of Camarillo, Calif., and Amy Sorensen of Casper, Wyo., answered the call. Directed to the cockpit, Alweiss told KTLA in Los Angeles that she found the pilot slumped over and mumbling, with an irregular heartbeat.

"He was clearly suffering from a possibly fatal arrhythmia,” she told NBC4 News.

Passengers helped the two women pull the captain into the galley, where the nurses set up a defibrillator and an IV, according to KTLA. In the meantime, the jet was rerouted to Omaha, Neb.

"This is what happens in movies," Sorensen (spelled Sorenson by some outlets) told ABC News. "This isn't what happens in real life."

A co-pilot safely landed the plane in Omaha, where medics were waiting to further treat the pilot, outlets noted. As the women retreated to their seats, passengers cheered the nurses' efforts, the Star-Tribune wrote. The pilot survived.

In a statement released to media United said: “United flight 1637, a Boeing 737 operating between Des Moines and Denver Monday evening, landed safely in Omaha after the captain became ill. United accommodated the customers overnight, and they continued to Denver the next day.”

A United spokeswoman told The Huffington Post that it was not releasing anymore information on the pilot. She added that she wanted everyone to know "the passengers weren't in any danger."

Sorensen, for one, said her actions weren't really heroic.

"I really don't see myself as a hero," she told ABC News. "I did what I know for a patient that needed it."

Source: Huffington Post 

Topics: save life, United Airlines, heart attack, nurse, pilot

Click me

Article or Blog Submissions

If you are interested in submitting content for our Blog, please ensure it fits the criteria below:
  • Relevant information for Nurses
  • Does NOT promote a product
  • Informative about Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

Agreement to publish on our DiversityNursing.com Blog is at our sole discretion.

Thank you

Subscribe to Email our eNewsletter

Posts by Topic

see all