An Arik Air flight with more than 100 passengers on board headed for London was forced to make an emergency landing in Palmas, Spain, when one of the passengers on board went into labor — and gave birth! — in midair.
Shortly after the woman realized she was in labor, the cabin crew put a cold call out for medical personnel — specifically doctors — on board to help look after the woman. Luckily, two doctors came forward and helped the mom-to-be deliver. The pilot on the flight requested the emergency landing after doctors informed him that the mom, whose identity has yet to be revealed, was experiencing excessive hemorrhaging. Thankfully, the plane touched down in Palmas in time for mom and baby to be safely taken into the care of medical professionals. The plane then continued on toward London.
In the wake of the delivery, ThisDay Live newspaper noted that Airk Air is trying to figure out whether the mom on board lied to Air Air staff by presenting them with a false medical report from her doctor that did not accurately detail how far along she was in her pregnancy or whether she went into premature labor on board. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), women who are "full-term" are prohibited from traveling by air and are required to present medical reports certifying that they are less than 32 weeks pregnant before they're allowed on the flight.
A source for the airline said that Arik Air plans to carrying out a full-scale investigation to determine the genuineness of the medical report. If the airline is able to determine that the documentation was, indeed, false, they would then file a special complaint against the doctor who had issued the medical report. The complaint would go to the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) because the doctor would be viewed as endangering the life of his patient and the baby — in addition to the other passengers on board the flight at the time of the emergency landing.
Did you fly during your pregnancy? Were you nervous?