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September 27, 2016

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Toothpicks to the rescue in flight drama

AN epilepsy patient was saved in mid air by a Shanghai doctor, who stimulated the patient’s acupuncture points with toothpicks to recover consciousness.

Dr Tian Yu, a Rheumatism Department expert of Shanghai’s Longhua Hospital, was flying from Kashi to Urumqi, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, on Friday when the crew broadcast a call seeking doctors on board.

“It was a male passenger aged between 35 and 40,” Tian told Shanghai Daily. “He seemed dazed and was foaming at the mouth.”

Tian quickly diagnosed the passenger was suffering from epilepsy.

The doctor has a background in traditional Chinese medicine. Given the restricted conditions of trying to treat someone on a plane, he decided to stimulate the patient’s acupuncture points with toothpicks.

“There was no needle available on the plane, and toothpicks were the best replacement I could find.”

Tian said the patient recovered after about five minutes of stimulation, 20 minutes before the plane landed.


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