Sailor turns first responder for man suffering cardiac arrest on Thanksgiving flight to Guam
By STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 11, 2020
A sailor flying to a new assignment on Guam on Thanksgiving helped save the life of a fellow passenger who had gone into cardiac arrest, the Navy said in a statement Wednesday.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jake Farque, a master-at-arms newly assigned to Maritime Expeditionary Security Group 1 Detachment Guam, jumped into action Nov. 26 when a flight attendant asked if anyone on board had medical experience to assist a passenger experiencing a heart problem, according to the statement.
Trained as an emergency medical technician, Farque knew to ask the patient’s wife for his medical history, “hook him up to an [automated external defibrillator] on board to monitor and put him on some oxygen,” the sailor said in the statement.
“As a master-at-arms on Naval Base San Diego, I responded to numerous medical emergency calls,” Farque said in the statement. “It was kind of the same; stabilize them until being able to get further medical care. The only difference was the time it took to get to additional care.”
With three hours left before the plane could land, flight attendants contacted the airline’s medical team and “determined the necessary procedures to follow,” according to the statement.
“I stayed in contact with the flight surgeon through the crew and continued monitoring vitals and reporting to the flight surgeon to include blood pressure, breathing rate and pulse,” Farque said in the statement. “The main priority was keeping him stable until we could land, and he could be transported for further evaluation.”
Farque monitored the patient’s vital signs until the plane reached the Guam airport, and first responders took the patient to U.S. Naval Hospital Guam, according to the statement.
The statement did not indicate the patient's current condition or whether the flight was through a military or commercial airline.
In the statement, Farque encouraged other sailors to “respond and do what they can when faced with similar situations.”
“Just do what you can to help,” he said. “It is in our nature to take care of one another, and if you have the training and knowledge, do what you are trained to do.”