Plane diverts for sick man, 89

A DELTA Airlines flight from Italy to the United States was forced to make a U-turn over the Atlantic and divert to Shannon Airport after an 89-year-old passenger became ill on board.

Delta flight DL245 was en route from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport to JFK in New York and had commenced its transatlantic crossing just south of Ireland when the elderly man complained of feeling unwell.

Cabin crew members quickly attended to the man while a call was made for any doctor on board to make themselves known to the crew. A medical doctor treated the man who appeared confused and had difficulty breathing.

After assessing the patient, it was decided he should receive urgent medical treatment and the pilot elected to turn around and divert to Shannon. The pilot contacted air traffic controllers and sought permission to divert while requesting that emergency medical services be placed on standby.

The Airbus A330-300 touched down safely at 3.15pm.

HSE ambulance paramedics assessed the man whom it was established had a previous cardiac history including heart bypass surgery. The man was stabilised on board the aircraft before being removed and transferred to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick for treatment. The man was in a stable condition last night.


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