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Andersen husband and wife team up to save a life

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Carissa Wolff
  • 36th Wing Public Affairs
"Is there a medic in the house?" 

Sound Air Force medical training and adrenaline kicked into gear as Master Sergeants Chester and Cindy Wilds rushed to provide vital lifesaving assistance to a fellow passenger collapsed on a flight from Narita, Japan to Icheon, Korea.

Immediately, after noticing a passenger had collapsed near the restroom, the Wildes sprang into the action and quickly assessed the passenger's condition. 

"The passenger's pulse and blood pressure were dangerously low coming in at only 82 over 50 for her blood pressure and 44 for her pulse," said Sergeant Cindy Wilds, 36th Medical Operations Squadron, noncommissioned officer in charge of the clinical medicine flight.   "The passenger was also unconscious and had vomited."

Fearing that the vomit may have been aspirated into the passenger's lungs, Sergeant Chester Wilds began to clear the passenger's airway.

At this point the life-saving team realized that without someone breathing for her the passenger was going to have severe brain damage or die. 

The Wilds convinced the flight staff to retrieve an oxygen tank, a first-aid kit and an automated external defibrillator. 

"The passenger was not adequately receiving enough oxygen to sustain life so we used the portable oxygen and started artificially ventilating her with the goal of better oxygenating her brain and vital organs," Sergeant Cindy Wilds said. "We were also trying to get her blood pressure and pulse to rise so she would wake up. We applied the AED electrodes to her and other than her pulse being very low; her heart was not in a shockable rhythm."

All of the Wilds' hard work paid off. The passenger began to gain consciousness approximately 10 minutes before the flight landed, and with the help of a flight attendant the Wilds were able to cross the language barrier to talk to the passenger.

"We do not know why she had the medical crises, but we were able assist her and help her through it," said Sergeant Chester Wilds, 36th Contingency Response Group. "I don't think that if we had not been on the plane she would have made it. Without the oxygen and helping her to breathe and stabilize her vital signs she would have quickly took a turn for the worse. It took the all of the equipment and skills we used to sustain her life until we could land and get her further definitive medical care."

Sergeant Chester Wilds also expressed that he as a medical professional has certain obligations.

"As an Independent Duty Medical Technician, I have a duty and obligation to not only the U.S. Air Force, but also to the people around me. It's not just the people in uniform; we're here for anyone who happens to be sitting there and needs help," Sergeant Wilds said. "I'm just glad to have had the chance to be helpful."

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