2 LSU medical students save sick passenger on international flight

Second-year med students Heather Duplessis and Lauren Bagneris were going on a short vacation before their studies reconvene.

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Two medical students from Louisiana State University are being widely praised for helping a woman who fell ill on board a recent flight to Greece. 

Heather Duplessis and Lauren Bagneris came to the aid of the unnamed woman, who was lightheaded and had fallen due to low blood sugar and heat exhaustion. 

“Two LSU Health New Orleans medical students on a flight to Greece were sure in the right place at the right time,” university officials wrote in a Facebook post Saturday. “There was a medical emergency on board, and a call went out for medical professionals. No one responded, so Heather Duplessis and Lauren Bagneris identified themselves as medical students.”

Heather Duplessis and Lauren Bagneris, a pair of Louisiana State University medical students, are being widely praised for helping a woman who fell ill on board a flight to Greece over the weekend. (LSU)

“They calmed the patient and got her to take some juice and food, and also cooled her off,” LSU staffers asserted. “Heather and Lauren communicated with a doctor on the ground and took her BP, pulse and blood sugar. The patient ended up feeling much better thanks to these two talented doctors in the making and their LSU medical education.” 

“Way to Geaux Tigers!” they gushed. “You do us proud!!!” 

In a local news video report, the future doctors said the situation reminded them why their school challenges them: “So that you are able to respond in emergency situations like this.” 

The young women are starting their second year of medical school and were going on a short vacation before their studies reconvene. Bagneris’ sister, traveling with the friends, saw another plane passenger fall. Then, the call went out over its loudspeaker.

“We were just really grateful that we were able to help her in the situation,” said Bagneris, 23. According to the report, she is focused on cardiology, while Duplessis, 25, plans to become an OB-GYN, with a focus on maternal-fetal medicine. 

The duo “waited a second to make sure no actual medical professionals were around to respond,” Duplessis told The Washington Post. “When no one responded, that’s when we identified ourselves as med students. They said, ‘Definitely, we could use your help.'”

Bagneris told The Post they “were definitely mentally preparing, and I don’t know if that was just God putting us in the right mindset for that situation. We’ve never discussed anything like that before.”

The school’s Facebook post has been shared more than 20,000 times. 

The Louisiana State University Health Services Center is located in New Orleans and is part of the LSU system and home to six schools, 12 centers of excellence and two patient care clinics.

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