Canadian doctor helps deliver a baby mid-flight

A Qatar Airways plane landed last month with an extra passenger on board – which is a little fun.

It came as a big surprise to Canadian Dr. Aisha Al-Khatib, who had no “delivery assistance” with her flight plans for that day.

“I didn’t expect a woman to give birth to a baby,” she said.

Al-Khatib, who happens to specialize in travel medicine and, of all things, in-flight health, was on her way to Uganda on a flight that had just left Doha last month, when she heard a call come through the PA system.

“About an hour into the flight, they announced, ‘Is there a doctor on the plane?'” Khatib said. “.

One passenger, who was about 36 weeks pregnant with her first child, told the cabin crew that she had abdominal pain.

“Not long after departure, when some kind of first signs started to appear,” Rusin Dimitrov, Qatar Airways’ chief customer experience officer, told CTV News.

Khatib rushed to the back of the plane, where she found her mother.

“There was this woman lying with her head toward the corridor and her feet toward the window,” Khatib said. “This kid was coming out.”

Fortunately, there was also a pediatrician and a nurse on board.

“This is kind of the best situation you could end up in, and it was perfect,” Dmitrov said.

The birth happened very quickly once the team was assembled. The child entered the world at 35,000 feet.

“I said ‘Congratulations, it’s a girl,'” said Khatib, “and suddenly the whole plane started clapping and cheering – let’s go, right.”

The cabin crew, also trained in such situations, poses with the newborn.

And while births do happen on flights, Khatib says from what she’s read, they are relatively rare.

“The chance of a baby being born on a plane is about one in 26 million,” she said.

The trip continued to Uganda, where the mother comes.

It is said that both mother and child are fine. And mom was so grateful, she named her new daughter after the Canadian doctor.

“So I named it Miracle Aisha, which I thought was really beautiful,” she said.

Files by Alexandra May Jones of CTVNews.ca

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