Ventricular Tachycardia

Nurse & Medic Save Man on Flight

Posted by cocreator on February 04, 2009
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We will be reporting on lives saved around the world since our first documented life saved here in Singapore.

The drama began while Darren was flying back from a holiday with his girlfriend Suzanne Hallsworth, 30. 

Nurse Saves Man On Flight

Ed Torres and Darren Smith

Darren, a service engineer, complained of what he thought was indigestion before suddenly slumping in his seat. While Suzanne looked on in horror, Ed, 30, a surgical staff nurse at Stepping Hill and former medic Sharon Slater leapt into action.

Ed Torres used the aircraft’s defibrillator to restart Darren Smith’s heart during the flight from Mexico to Manchester Airport.

Ed, a nurse for eight years, was travelling back from Mexico with partner Miles Moorcroft, 37.

“When I got to him, he had no pulse and I thought I was too late. I felt I was in big trouble and people might start blaming me.”

“I had no colleagues telling me what to do and I was really scared.”


Sharon, from Cumbria, said: “When I got to Darren he was on the floor, wasn’t breathing and didn’t have a pulse.”

“I thought it was going to be too late. It was the worst-case scenario because there was no room and people all around.”

“After resuscitating him it was a case of keeping him stable until we landed. He is very lucky.”

Ed, with assistance from Sharon Slater kept Darren stable for an hour-and-a-half before the aircraft could land in Azores.

After nearly a month of tests, it emerged he suffered from ventricular tachycardia, a condition in which abnormal electrical impulses cause the heart to pump far quicker than normal. This led to cardiac arrest.

His mum Linda said: “It happened at 30,000ft in the air and he was a lot closer to God than he will ever know.”

Dr Chris Burke, chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The actions of staff nurse, Ed Torres, were courageous and instinctive but not altogether surprising, as they are typical of the level of care and devotion that are intrinsic in all our staff here at Stepping Hill hospital.

“Ed has become somewhat of a hero on the ward and I would to take this opportunity to congratulate him for his quick-thinking and selfless actions that resulted in the saving of a man’s life. We are all very proud of him.”

Darren said: “He’s just amazing, I owe him my life. “What can I say? You start by saying thank you and move on from there.”

He said: “I feel like I’ve been given a second chance.”

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