Representatives from Japan Airlines (JAL) paid a visit to Torrance Memorial’s
pharmacy to personally thank Van Huynh, Pharm D., an inpatient pharmacist
who assisted a passenger in respiratory distress during a flight from
Tokyo to Los Angeles on March 24, 2018.
The passenger, a Japanese student who was traveling with a group of fellow
students, experienced a severe panic attack and asthma attack during the
flight and was unable to control her symptoms with the medicines she had
The flight crew made an announcement requesting volunteer assistance from
medically-trained passengers onboard. Huynh and her husband Dr. Kha Huynh,
an anesthesiologist at Olive View-UCLA Medical Center, offered to help
and quickly assessed the patient. Seeing signs of severe respiratory distress,
Dr. Huynh determined that the patient might go into cardiac arrest or
shock if not treated immediately and he quickly established an IV line.
Van, a pharmacist who is certified in advanced cardiac life support and
advanced pediatric life support, went through the airline’s on-board
medical supplies. While Dr. Huynh carefully monitored the patient, Van
assisted with medications.
Through the highly-coordinated efforts of the flight crew and the Huynhs,
the passenger was stabilized for the remaining six hours of the flight
and arrived safely in Los Angeles. The passenger has since returned to Tokyo.