If you’re ever on a Hawaii flight with our Governor, and there’s a medical emergency, everyone knows there’s a doctor on board. That’s because Hawaii Governor Josh Green is also an Emergency Room Physician. His medical skills were needed recently on a flight from NYC to Honolulu.
As an aside, we almost met Governor Green last week at a reception sponsored by him and the First Lady of Hawaii, Jaime Green, at Washington Place in Honolulu. The reception still happened but without the governor. He was in NYC to participate in meetings at the United Nations and attend a governor’s conference. Little did anyone know at the time there would be a call like this on his return flight.
Is there a doctor onboard this Hawaii flight?
As frequent flyers, we have heard that more often than we would like to report on planes. Then too, editor Rob had his own incident years ago when he had a bad reaction to a cold medication and passed out cold on takeoff when returning to Hawaii. It can happen to anyone.
Last month, a United Airlines medical emergency on a flight bound to the mainland from Hawaii required the plane to return to Honolulu.
On his way back from New York, Governor Josh Green was the person to step forward and help a passenger on Delta Airlines Honolulu-bound flight 312. The flight departed New York’s JFK at 9:58 am and arrived in Honolulu at 3:52 pm. The governor reported the cause of the problem as a likely seizure.
The governor didn’t make it clear how far from landing in Hawaii the flight was at the time. Dr. Green was able to provide care until the plane landed. At that time, the aircraft was met by first responders who transported the passenger to the hospital for treatment, where he was reportedly in stable condition.
As a side note, it appears that the governor was seated in economy on the Delta flight. That flight is more than 10 hours in duration.
Medical emergencies on Hawaii flights.
These happen routinely, and airlines are well-equipped to handle them. This includes the help of trained flight crew members, telemedicine, and assistance from qualified medical professionals who may be on board. You don’t expect the help to come from the Governor of Hawaii, who is the only governor in the United States with a doctorate in medicine.
The Centers for Disease Control reports, “Medical emergencies occur on 1 of every 604 flights. The most common emergencies include syncope or presyncope, respiratory symptoms, nausea, and vomiting. For 90% of these emergencies, aircraft continue to their destination.”
The dreaded-for-every-reason overhead announcement requesting medical assistance for an in-flight emergency presents a unique situation for even a trained healthcare professional. That given the limited resources and constrained space obvious from Dr. Green’s photo.
Emergency room physician, Dr. Green, has had frequent opportunities to help with rescues as governor.
You may recall that Governor Green has been called on to render emergency assistance multiple times this year, the most recent of which was at a parade in Kailua earlier this month. Then just a month ago, here on Kauai, he came to the aid of another young man who was ejected from a truck bed on which he was sitting in a lawn chair. The man suffered a concussion due to that fall. Green provided emergency care until first responders arrived near Lihue Airport.
Other incidents at which Governor Green provided his medical expertise occurred on the Big Island when he came to the rescue of a driver whose car flipped over, as well as on Oahu when a woman had a seizure at an event the governor was attending.
Image courtesy of Gov. Josh Green.