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Dr. Amer Syed, program director of Internal Medicine at Jersey City Medical Center-RWJ Barnabas Health, photographed with his residents, from left to right, Alexis Gerber, Irene Min and Christopher Faludi on Monday, April 10, 2017. Syed was on a flight from LAX to EWR on April 9, when a woman fell sick and was practically unresponsive. He helped stabilize her with the very little equipment United had on board and she was brought to Beth Israel for treatment. (Reena Rose Sibayan | The Jersey Journal)

JERSEY CITY -- Dr. Amer Syed was in the right place at the right time Sunday evening.

The Jersey City-based doctor was on a flight home from Los Angeles after celebrating his friends' wedding. Syed was nodding in and out of sleep when an announcement came over the intercom from the flight crew.

"All of a sudden I heard overhead there was a medical emergency and asked if there were any physicians on board," said Syed, who specializes in internal medicine.

Syed rushed to the back of the cabin, where a 24-year-old woman was lying in pain. Her pulse was faint with no palpable blood pressure, he said.

The woman's body temperature was a mere 95 degrees, so the doctor worked to help stabilize her with 1.5 liters of fluid. Had the flight not already been approaching Newark Liberty International Airport, Syed said he would have been prepared to cut into the woman's abdomen to fully stabilize her.

Interviewed yesterday morning, Syed said he was "surprised by the inadequacies of the airline."

The flight, United Airlines 510, did not have any lifesaving medication -- pain killers or antibiotics -- on board, he said. 

"The stethoscope wasn't even working," Syed said, adding that he didn't have his own on hand because he was coming back from a vacation.  

Once the plane landed, Syed carried the woman off the plane with help from the crew and she was taken to Beth Israel Hospital in Newark. Her updated condition was not immediately available.

"I'm just simply appalled by the lack of quality of life saving equipment and medications on that flight," Syed said. 

When contacted by phone Monday morning, a United Airlines spokeswoman directed all requests for comment to the company's media relations department. A spokesman responded to an email with information regarding an incident where a passenger was dragged off an overbooked plane in Chicago.

United Airlines has not yet commented on the medical equipment that was on board the Newark-bound plane. 

United Airlines has faced scrutiny in recent months. In March three girls wearing leggings were not allowed to board a flight because they were not "in compliance with (the company's) dress code. Last April, a heavyset Jersey City man said he was booted from a plane because another passenger complained about sitting next to him. 

Syed said he would not consider himself a hero because of his humility, and this is the profession he chose. The biggest reward, for him was seeing the woman smile at him when she started to come through. 

Caitlin Mota may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @caitlin_mota. Find The Jersey Journal on Facebook.