When a medical emergency occurred on an international flight from London to India recently, the crew received a rapid response from a Quintiles physician and her husband- also a doctor. They saved a woman and helped her husband.

Quintiles internist and nephrologist, Dr. Vidya Kadam, and her husband and pediatrician, Dr. Santosh Kadam, were returning to India from a vacation in Ireland when the emergency occurred.

“‘We had to work on a hunch and with what equipment was available on hand,’ said Vidya as their fear was that such a drastic fall in the lady’s blood pressure could lead to serious complications.”

The initial reported cited above was contained in an internal Quintiles (NYSE: Q) publication called iQ.

Forbes magazine on Monday picked up and expanded the story.

“If you have a medical emergency while confined to a transcontinental airliner for nine or ten hours, the probability of your outcome depends on the luck of the draw among your flight crew and fellow passengers,” Forbes reported..

“So you could say that a 63-year-old woman hit the jackpot after collapsing on an Air India flight from London to Mumbai earlier this month. When the crew called for medical help, the response came from a veteran physician couple also traveling back to India from holiday.”

Dr. Kadam is a nephrologist and internist with Cardiac Safety Services at Quintiles India. She is one of 950 physicians employed worldwide by Quintiles, the world’s largest life science services company which is based in Durham.

“Together with Kadam’s pediatrician husband, Santosh, they arrived toward the front of the Boeing Dreamliner to find the patient cold to the touch with no measurable blood pressure and only a faint pulse,” the magazine recounted.

When the passenger’s husband grew faint, the couple had a second patient.

After about an hour and with the help if an IV, the woman regained consciousness. Her husband also recovered.

The incidents were among some 44,000 in-flight medical emergencies reported each year, Forbes noted.

And the help from the Quintiles physician is representative of many in which doctors onboard provide assistance.

“Nearly half of all in-flight emergencies benefit from the assistance of a physician passenger with another 28 percent from a health professional such as a nurse or emergency medical technician,” Forbes noted.

For more about the story and in-flight emergencies overall, read: