Saturday, 3 May 2014

Nigerian Woman Delivers Baby in British Airways Flight From Abuja To London

A plane flying from Nigeria to London had to make an emergency landing on a Spanish island when a woman gave birth in business class.

The 30-year-old Nigerian woman went into labour 36,000 feet up, causing the pilot of the British Airways plane to divert to Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands.

The woman was 26 weeks into her pregnancy when she went into labour.
Daily Mail of London reported that the aircraft made emergency landing on the island of Palma de Mallorca so the woman and the newborn could receive medical attention.

The mother and child remained in hospital and were said to be stable, as the flight took off after, arriving Heathrow Airport, London two hours later than it was scheduled.

Report said the woman gave birth in a flatbed in the business class section of the airplane and immediately the aircraft landed mother and child were raced to the hospital.

According to the report, under British Airways regulations, pregnant woman can fly on the airline’s flights until the end of her 36th week or 32nd week of pregnancy if carrying more than one baby.
The aircraft, a Boeing 777 with 296 passengers, was enroute from Abuja to London and had flown for few hours when she went into labour.

Daily Mail quoted British Airways official who said, “Our cabin crew, who are trained in birthing procedures, assisted with the delivery of a baby on board our flight from Abuja. The Captain diverted the aircraft to Panama so that mum and baby could be taken to hospital. We are in touch and will continue to provide any support and help we can. We wish the mother and her little one all the very best.”

In September last year, a Nigerian woman delivered on Arik Air flight from Lagos to London, forcing the pilot to declare emergency landing and landed in Palmas, Mallorca, Spain.
The pilot was said to have requested the emergency landing on the advice of two doctors who were on board the aircraft and had helped the mother deliver the baby, although the airline’s officials said the woman had a miscarriage.

THISDAY learnt that when the passenger went into labour, the cabin crew had asked that doctors on board the flight to identify themselves. Following the announcement, two of the passengers came forward, saying they were doctors and assisted in the delivery of the baby.

Normally, a source disclosed that in the few instances where women have given birth on board, the aircraft would continue its flight to its final destination. However, the Arik flight was forced to make an emergency landing following the advice of the doctors that the woman was bleeding excessively.

Women with full term pregnancies are not allowed to travel by air, according to International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regulations. As such, intending pregnant passengers are required to present medical reports certifying that they are less than 32 weeks pregnant before they are allowed to fly.

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