Doctor Tony Aldapa performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on 62-year-old Isaias Hernandez when he had a medical emergency on a flight last week.
Hernandez died later, and it was revealed that he had COVID-19 when he went through the medical emergency.
Aldapa had symptoms of COVID-19 for days after the event, but tested negative for the virus three times.
He told Insider that he did not hesitate to help Hernandez on the flight.
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A doctor who performed CPR on a man who had COVID-19 on a United Airlines flight last week said he has no regrets.
Tony Aldapa, a licensed paramedic and health worker in the Los Angeles-based Veteran’s Hospital emergency room, told Insider that he was unaware that the man he helped had COVID-19 at the time, but did not hesitate to jump in to help.
“It doesn’t really matter,” he told Insider. “I was already following protocols, quarantining and testing anyway.”
Aldapa applied CPR to Isaias Hernandez, 62, who had a medical emergency on a flight from Orlando to Los Angeles on December 14.
The emergency caused the flight to be redirected to New Orleans, where Hernandez was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. It was later confirmed that he had COVID-19, when The Washington Post reported that he died of the virus and acute respiratory failure.
Aldapa was quarantined after the flight. He said he experienced symptoms of COVID-19 for several days, including fatigue, body aches, headache and cough, but after three negative tests, he thinks he does not have the virus.
“Looking back, I wouldn’t change my actions, but I may have stepped up earlier,” he said about helping Hernandez on Twitter. “Knowing that I had the knowledge, training and experience to help, I couldn’t sit with my arms crossed watching someone die.”
United had initially said Hernandez had died of cardiac arrest, although Hernandez’s wife was overheard telling another paramedic that her husband had symptoms of COVID-19, including loss of taste and smell.
A United employee previously told Business Insider that Hernandez did not inform the airline that he was experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and that the team is now working with health officials to contact passengers on the flight.
“Now that CDC has contacted us directly, we are sharing the requested information with the agency so that they can work with local health authorities to make contact with any client that CDC believes is at risk of possible exposure or infection,” said one spokesperson for last week.
Aldapa said he wants others to help Hernandez to be recognized as well
Aldapa told Insider that he wants the other people who helped Hernandez to be recognized as well, saying he was not the first to rise.
“I was just helping the other two people who were the first to get up. I feel like they deserve much more praise than I do,” he said. “Unfortunately, I was the one who got caught in the spotlight. I saw an interview with the gentleman who was helping, I would like to know the name of the nurse who was helping, so that she could get some recognition too.”
He also hopes to contact Hernandez’s wife to share his condolences.
In the meantime, he said he is learning all the updates to the event by reading and watching the news.
He said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still had to contact 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 whether other public health actions are appropriate”.
Read the original article on Insider