In an incident that happened onboard a flight from Guangzhou to New York, a surgeon saved an elderly man’s life with his quick thinking by manually sucking 700ml of urine out of the man’s blocked bladder.

The incident happened on Tuesday, 19 November onboard a China Southern Airlines flight, when cabin crew made an emergency announcement asking for any doctors on the long-haul flight

Two vascular surgeons, Dr Zhang Hong and Dr Xiao Zhangxiang, responded to the call.

The two Chinese surgeons rigged straws, a syringe needle and tubing from an oxygen mask together with tape to perform a life-saving emergency procedure on the flight, according to a report in South China Morning Post (SCMP).

However, when a makeshift catheter to extract the urine didn’t work and the two surgeons determined the unidentified man’s bladder was close to rupturing, Dr Zhang used a plastic tube and used to his mouth to manually suck 700ml of liquid waste from the man’s bladder.

The surgeon spent more than half an hour sucking out the elderly man’s urine, who was sweating, had a swollen belly and had previously been diagnosed with an enlarged prostate.

“If we had not dealt with the situation in time, the patient’s life would have been at risk,” Dr Zhang was quoted as saying by SCMP on Thursday.

Speaking about the incident, Dr Zhang said this — to manually suck out the liquid waste — was the best way they could control the flow.

It was an emergency situation. I couldn’t figure out another way

“When I saw that the man could hardly bear the pain any more, my only thought was how to get the urine out of his bladder,” he was quoted as saying.

Dr Zhang revealed that kept sucking the urine out despite reportedly feeling like he would vomit. The good doctor, however, remains modest when he was asked about his heroic act onboard the flight.

As a doctor, your job is to cure the sick. I was just doing my job.

According to him, at that time, he could only think about how to suck the urine out.

“Actually I already felt nauseous on my second mouthful. It was definitely unpleasant,” he said.

The surgeon’s selfless act was captured on video by the crew.

SAYS

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