Tony Aldapa, a Los Angeles-based EMT, helped perform CPR on a United passenger earlier this month, who it was later revealed had COVID-19. WABC
Medic Tony Aldapa performed CPR on 62-year-old Isaias Hernandez when he had a medical emergency on a flight last week.
Hernandez later died, and it was revealed that he had COVID-19 when he experienced the medical emergency.
Aldapa had COVID-19 symptoms for days after the event, but has tested negative for the virus three times.
He told Insider that he had no hesitation jumping in to help Hernandez on the flight.
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Related: Here’s what it’s like to travel during the coronavirus outbreak
A medic who performed CPR on a man who had COVID-19 on a United Airlines flight last week says that he has no regrets.
Tony Aldapa, a licensed EMT and a Veteran’s Hospital emergency room healthcare worker based in Los Angeles, told Insider that he didn’t know the man he helped had COVID-19 at the time, but had no hesitation in jumping in to help.
“It didn’t really matter,” he told Insider. “I was already following protocols, quarantining and getting tested anyway.”
Aldapa had given CPR to 62-year-old Isaias Hernandez, who had a medical emergency on a flight from Orlando to Los Angeles on December 14.
The emergency caused the flight to be rerouted to New Orleans, where Hernandez was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. It was later confirmed he had COVID-19 when The Washington Post reported that he died from the virus and acute respiratory failure.
Aldapa went into quarantine after the flight. He said he experienced COVID-19 symptoms for several days, including fatigue, body aches, a headache, and a cough, but after three negative tests, he doesn’t think he has the virus.
“Looking back I would not change my actions, but I may have stepped up earlier,” he said of helping Hernandez on Twitter. “Knowing I had the knowledge, training and experience to help out, I could not have sat idly by and watched someone die.”
A United Airlines Boeing 767-300ER. Lukas Wunderlich/Shutterstock.com
United had initially said Hernandez had died from cardiac arrest, though Hernandez’s wife was overheard telling another EMT that her husband had COVID-19 symptoms including loss of taste and smell.
A United official previously told Business Insider that Hernandez had not informed the airline that he was experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and that staff are now working with health officials to contact passengers who were on the flight.
“Now that the CDC has contacted us directly, we are sharing requested information with the agency so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection,” a spokesperson said last week.
Aldapa said he wants other people to help Hernandez to be recognized too
Aldapa told Insider that he wants the other people who helped Hernandez to be recognized too, saying he wasn’t the first to stand up.
“I was just helping out the other two people who were the first ones to get up. I feel like they deserve a lot more praise than I do,” he said. “Unfortunately, I’m the one who got caught in the spotlight. I’ve seen one interview with the gentleman who was helping out, I wish I knew the name of the nurse who was helping, so she could get some recognition as well.”
He also hopes to get in contact with Hernandez’s wife to share his condolences.
Meanwhile, he said that he’s learning all of his updates from the event by reading and watching the news.
He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to reach out to him.
In a statement to CBS Los Angeles, the CDC said it is “in the process of collecting information and proceeding according to our standard operating procedures to determine if further public health action is appropriate.”
Read the original article on Insider