For 24-year-old resident of Chelyabinsk, Artem Chechikov, the honeymoon with his wife Elena in Barcelona ended tragically. On the way home, while in a plane, the young man suffered a heart attack. However, despite life-saving efforts that one of the passengers provided to Artem, doctors could not save the man's life after the plane landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo. Eyewitnesses said that it took paramedics more than an hour to arrive. When they finally came, their medical equipment was out of order.
The incident occurred on the night of August 18, but the story was not publicized immediately. One of the witnesses of the incident on board the Barcelona-Chelyabinsk flight was passenger Larisa Amirova. According to her, Artem Chechikov suddenly fell ill during the flight, and his wife Elena started calling for help, chelyabinsk.ru website says. "One of the passengers was an intensivist, so he started to take life-saving efforts to save the guy. Artificial respiration, oxygen bottles, adrenaline, all efforts were taken accordingly," said Amirova.
The pilots were immediately informed about the incident on board. "They informed the airport that a team of ER doctors should be ready at the airport. The closest airport was in Moscow. Everyone was glad to learn the news, as we all thought that the guy's life would be saved in such a big city," the woman said.
Afterwards, the story began to unfold rapidly. "The plane landed within just 10-15 minutes at Sheremetyevo airport. The plane was given a corridor and parked. However, there was neither an ER vehicle, nor even an ambulance nearby. The intensivist, that passenger, was trying to support the young man's life during all that time," the woman said.
Some time later, two female paramedics "with bandages and brilliant green" came running. According to Amirova, they were very surprised that they faced such a complicated case. They were asked to bring a defibrillator, but it turned out that the battery in the device was dead.
"As a result, in Moscow, we had to stay for two hours, and the man was staying there with everyone too, no one was going to rush him to hospital. One had to fill out some papers. They were trying to find out the reason, for which the plane had to land in Moscow. Even to get the guy out of the plane, one had to show passports first," the woman complained. "I never saw the ambulance vehicle, they took away the guy in some sort of a wagon," Amirova said.
Another passenger on the plane, also an eyewitness, said that the man was diagnosed with "acute coronary insufficiency and pulmonary edema." As she noted, Artem's wife said that he was a healthy man. "He neither smoked nor drank, and was doing sports," she said.
According to her, at the airport, when the paramedics approached the intensivist, the latter asked for a laryngoscope, but it lacked batteries. "We were waiting for the ER team for 90 minutes. Sheremetyevo's chief physician behaved provocatively. He was rude, when he was asked to help. He started to perform chest compression as if he was an amateur," the second eyewitness of the tragic incident wrote on a local medical forum.
"The young man died when the long-awaited resuscitators came. They came up to him at a leisurely pace. One of them asked: "Why aren't you monitoring him?" That was it. It was a scary situation. The man's wife was writhing in hysterics, when she was told: "He died,"" the woman wrote.
According to her, the passengers estimated that the plane would have landed in Chelyabinsk for the time that it had to spend on the ground.
Artem Chechikov was buried on August 21 in Chelyabinsk. His widow is going to apply for legal aid. "I want our medicine, and in particular, the doctors, who failed to provide necessary assistance to him, be held accountable for criminal negligence," she said.
Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Government, Olga Golodets, requested the Ministry for Transport and the Ministry for Health should verify circumstances of the death of the young man, who was flying to Chelyabinsk with his wife from their honeymoon in Spain.
Many still wonder how such a strange story could take place at all. Even if there were no team of ER doctors at the airport, emergency services could send paramedics to the airport from the towns nearby. Officials at health and transport ministries will now investigate the situation.