A transatlantic flight was forced to make a dramatic U-turn when a young girl developed a nut allergy in mid-air.

The United Airlines flight from Dublin to Newark with 169 passengers and eight crew members onboard had been in the air less than two hours when the young passenger became ill.

An emergency shot of adrenaline, commonly known as an EpiPen, administered by the cabin crew is believed to have saved the girl’s life.

The youngster, believed to be a nine-year-old girl from the US, was traveling with about six family members in business class when she suffered a suspected anaphylactic shock.

The Irish Independent quotes one passenger, who recalled: "There was an announcement that there was an emergency.

"They asked if there were any doctors or nurses on board and two people came forward to help.

"Her face looked quite puffed and she was obviously in distress. It appeared to be quite desperate at one point, but then it calmed down when she was given an injection."

The girl, who had reportedly never shown any signs of the allergy before, was said to be in a stable condition when she was taken from the Boeing 757-200 aircraft in Dublin and rushed to hospital.

United Airlines said they had to cancel last Monday's flight, which had 169 passengers onboard, as the crew-of-eight would have exceeded their legally permitted duty hours.

However, the flight is scheduled to depart Dublin again on Wednesday afternoon.

Following the flight's diversion back to Dublin two days ago, the airline promptly apologized to its passengers for the inconvenience and provided them with meals and overnight hotel accommodation in the Irish capital.

An airline spokesman said: "United Airlines flight UA22 from Dublin to New York/Newark returned to Dublin because of a medical emergency onboard."

Last December a 14-year-old Dublin girl, Emma Sloan, was not so lucky when she lost her life on O’Connell Street. Just days after Christmas she suffered an allergic reaction to a restaurant nut sauce. She had forgotten her prescription and the pharmacy refused to give her and her mother the lifesaving EpiPen.