Unexpected arrival in the departure lounge
Date: 11 September 2023
When a mother suddenly went into labour in Luton Airport’s departure lounge, airport staff and passing air crew all went to her aid while EEAST 999 call-handler Megan Byrne talked them through making a successful and safe delivery.
Megan recently travelled to Luton Airport where she met in-person the people she had talked through delivering the baby - from EEAST’s Ambulance Control Centre in Norwich.
Megan said: “The 999 alert was raised by a passing pilot who followed my instructions to prepare the mother for delivery. Melanie Horwood, the Terminal Duty Officer arrived on scene, took control of the situation and began assisting the birth which was progressing quickly. The pilot relayed my instructions onto her until the baby was born and I could hear it crying in the background.“
Various members of staff from Luton Airport offered assistance, including retail staff and Luton Airport Fire Department, by bringing first aid supplies, blankets and even translating what was happening to the mother who didn't speak English.
The ambulance crew arrived shortly after and mother and baby were transported to Luton and Dunstable Hospital. They are believed to be doing well and have returned to their own country.
Megan has been with EEAST for four years, having decided while studying for a geography degree that she really wanted to work in an ambulance call centre.
However, this was not the first baby she had helped deliver over the phone: “I’ve been quite lucky, I’ve been involved in delivering around eight babies,” she said.
“Sometimes callers are in very obscure locations, such as the side of the road when people have not made it to hospital in time. But never before in an airport.”
Since helping deliver the baby, Megan has now started a new role in EEAST, where she will bring her knowledge of call handling to our Patient Safety Teams.
If you would like a job that makes a difference, you can find out more about a #CareerForLife with EEAST on our website.
When a mother suddenly went into labour in Luton Airport, EEAST call-handler Megan Byrne talked airport staff through making a successful and safe delivery.