Ambulance Paramedic Recognised for his Heroism

 Thursday 6 October 2016

Scott McKeating, an Ambulance Paramedic from Bathgate; was a winner at the prestigious Brave@Heart awards ceremony at Edinburgh Castle on Tuesday evening, where his response to a medical emergency on board a flight home from Tenerife saved a woman’s life.

Scott was returning home from holiday in Tenerife when a call for medical assistance was announced and he made himself known to the crew. A passenger had become unwell with high sugar levels and was not responding to her normal dose of insulin. Without his usual medical equipment, Scott improvised by using the patient’s own blood glucose monitoring kit and identified that the patient was hyperglycaemic and in a serious condition. By this time, a junior doctor had also become involved and they requested that the plane make an emergency landing. However, the lady then went into cardiac arrest and with no defibrillator on board, Scott and the doctor began manual CPR. After six minutes, the patient’s heart thankfully began beating on its own again. Upon landing, the doctor asked Scott to conduct the handover of the patient to waiting medical staff in recognition of the tremendous leadership he had shown.

On receiving his award, Scott who is based at the Scottish Ambulance Service’s Livingston Station said,

“As soon as I set eyes on the patient I could see that she was seriously ill. When she went into cardiac arrest, the doctor and I just went into automatic pilot and started doing CPR on her, something I've done several times over almost four years with the Service. Six minutes of full-on CPR is pretty tiring but we refused to stop until there was a sign of life.

"It wasn't quite the end to my holiday that I had in my mind, but as far as I'm concerned it's what I've been trained to do, she was my patient and I'm just glad that she survived".

Pauline Howie, CEO of the Scottish Ambulance Service said,

“This must have been a most stressful situation given the lack of medical equipment to hand and the simple fact of where they were, but Scott’s actions embody the sheer professionalism and dedication of our staff, on or off-duty.

“On behalf of our Board, our Executive and staff members, I would like to thank Scott for his life-saving action as well as leadership in a critical situation. He is a tribute to the Service.”