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U.S. soldiers airlift pregnant woman to hospital

Posted February. 20, 2001 19:05,   


U.S. Armed Forces personnel used a rescue helicopter to transport a pregnant woman on Paengnyong Island to a mainland hospital where she gave birth to a healthy daughter. The 33-year-old woman, only identified as Yoo, gave birth by Caesarean section in the early morning hours Sunday.

According to the headquarters of the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea Tuesday, the successful birth of her child owes in part to Marine Corps personnel who requested the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Air Force Operations Headquarters to provide her with the emergency airlift.

The ROK Air Force dispatched an HH-60 helicopter to the island at around 9:35 p.m. Saturday, but dense fog prevented it from reaching its destination. The Joint Chiefs of Staff then requested that the U.S. Armed Forces in Korea send a helicopter, and the U.S. 33rd rescue team dispatched an HH-60G helicopter from Osan Base with a flight surgeon and an interpreter aboard. It arrived on Paengnyong Island at around 3:35 a.m. Sunday morning.

The U.S. side stabilized the woman`s condition and sent her to a hospital in Inchon by air. Yoo gave birth at around 4:30 a.m.

The rescue team consisted of Maj. Eric Stewart, Capt. James Thomas, a surgeon, and Capt. Lee Jung-Ho of the ROK Air Force. Both the woman and her daughter were reported to be fine.

Thomas said, “When we arrived on Paengnyong Island, the woman was experiencing some problems. Her blood pressure fell and her pulse became rapid when she arrived in Inchon, so we took emergency steps, including increasing the amount of Ringers solution.”