Last Thursday, on a Delta flight, a passenger in distress got top care from the country’s foremost physician, the U.S. Surgeon General. A woman aboard Delta Flight 1827 from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta lost consciousness before take off, which delayed the flight for three hours and forced it to return to the gate.

During the incident, the flight crew asked if there were any doctors on board. Surgeon General Jerome M. Adams quickly responded to the request and helped the passenger regain consciousness with the help of two nurses, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Adams went as far as to accompany the passenger off the plane and called their spouse, recommending the passenger be taken to the hospital. The passenger is reportedly doing well.


On Facebook, Adams wrote, “The truth is, there are doctors, nurses, and techs who step up each and every day to respond to emergencies on flights, and they ALL should be recognized and thanked...I need to knowledge the amazing Delta crew who are all very helpful, including the Captain, who was as cool as a cucumber!”

The Delta flight finally took off from Fort Lauderdale at 5:14 p.m. In a statement, Delta said, "Prior to takeoff, Delta flight 1827 from Fort Lauderdale to Atlanta returned to the gate following a customer illness. Medical assistance was provided by the U.S. Surgeon General who worked with our flight crew to aid the customer. Delta thanks the Surgeon General for volunteering his services in assisting this customer."

Adams, an anesthesiologist and a vice admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 3, 2017. He assumed office on September 5, 2017. Before his appointment, he was the Indiana State Health Commissioner from 2014 to 2017. He attended Indiana University School of Medicine as an Eli Lilly and Company Scholar and received a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley in 2000, with a focus on chronic disease prevention. He completed his internship in internal medicine at St. Vincent Indianapolis Hospital, and his residency in anesthesiology at Indiana University.

Adams was flying to Jackson to attend a panel discussion on the opioid epidemic at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. The issue has been one of the cornerstones of the Surgeon General’s mandate.