JEDDAH: A Saudi doctor has been called a hero after helping a Filipino woman as she went into labor on a flight from Dubai to the Brunei capital Bandar Seri Begawan.
In the middle of the nine hour flight on the Royal Brunei Airlines Flight BI008 on June 16, 34-year-old Josoy Jenny, who was 33 weeks pregnant, started to experience pain as she went into early labor, and asked the cabin crew for help.
Mulfi Ibrahim Alkhinjar, a Saudi doctor from Al-Qurrayat, told Arab News he made himself known to a member of the cabin crew named Adam after the attendant asked the 173 passengers if there was a medic on board.
“Once Adam briefed me about the case, he introduced me to the head of the cabin crew, Romzi bin Haji Mohammad Yousuf, who was my right hand throughout the delivery, along with the flight attendants Siti Nurhafizzah Metassan, and Adam. I introduced myself to the patient, took her medical history, and performed a primary assessment.”
Alkhinjar was patient and professional, despite the high pressure situation.
“I thought having recommendations from an obstetrics and gynaecology specialist through the Medlink phone on the plane would be the best decision for the moment being, before conducting any further actions. So, we received a couple of recommendations over the phone. Afterward, the rest was left to us,” he said.
“After putting the patient on oxygen and giving her the required medications, which allowed us to facilitate the delivery properly, a couple of strong contractions started to occur; that’s when we managed to safely deliver the baby.”
Alkhinjar graduated with a bachelor’s degree in medical science from the University of Newcastle in Australia in 2014, and has a master’s in public health from the University of Melbourne. He currently works at the Saudi Public Health Authority.
Throughout this delivery, Alkhinjar had to approach the situation with a clear mind and structured way of thinking.
“I had to prioritize (addressing) what would put the mother and the baby at risk,” he said.
“I was worried about the baby’s position during the delivery, because if the baby was in the wrong position, this would complicate the process. Therefore, I had to recall information and skills from my past experiences. So, I conducted Leopold’s maneuver to determine the baby’s position, which had a positive outcome.”
Once the baby was delivered safely, Alkhinjar’s attention was shifted to the mother to ensure the placenta was delivered without rupturing the uterus.
“I managed to use the Crede maneuver while maintaining steady traction of the cord. Fortunately, this was successful with no complications.”
Alkhinjar said he had faith in himself and the cabin crew, and that he drew on his experience and knowledge to help them.
“A successful person is a person who knows his/her own limitations,” he said. “Graduating from a university that has a renowned reputation in the field of medicine in Australia has always given me confidence. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel pressured. But, in all my travels, I believe that Allah is always with us, and that he is our companion on the road.”
The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Brunei thanked Alkhinjar for his heroic efforts in delivering mother and baby safely through the emergency.
Alkhinjar expressed his thanks to the Saudi Ambassador to Brunei Emad Al-Muhanna, adding: “I am happy to have represented my great country … in the best possible way.
“I am grateful for the appreciation and gratitude I have received from everyone who contacted me, especially from Ambassador Al-Muhanna.”
Despite all the acclaim, though, Alkhinjar said that it was Jenny who was the real hero of the hour, and who deserved credit.
“Honestly, she was not credited enough in the media coverage. Doing what she did requires enormous strength and determination,” he said. “Therefore, she didn’t have to thank me or show any appreciation — even though she did.”