When an asthmatic toddler without his medication began to have breathing difficulties on a Transatlantic flight from Spain to the US, a New York doctor sprang into action and created a make-shift nebulizer to deliver oxygen and asthma medication to the child, according to an ABC News report.
Dr Khurshid Guru, director of Robotic Surgery at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, told ABC News he was aboard a transatlantic Air Canada flight on Sept 18 when he was notified of a toddler in trouble. The two-year old’s parents said they accidentally packed his asthma medication in their checked luggage.
When Guru discovered the child’s oxygen levels at 87-88%, decided he needed to fashion a nebulizer-like device to deliver supplemental oxygen, as well as deliver medication from an adult inhaler on board, ABC News reported.
Guru cut up a water bottle and added oxygen to one end and the adult inhaler through a small hole in the bottle, which served as a holding chamber. Guru also fixed a water cup to the bottle opening, which he instructed the parents to hold it to the child’s face.
“Within about half an hour and two treatments he was sounding much better,” Guru told ABC News, noting the child’s oxygen levels rose to 94-95%.
Guru later tweeted photos of the device and told ABC News he wanted to share the story as a reminder to parents of asthmatic children to always keep their vital medication nearby.
Good job doc. I do have a plethora of questions about the device, especially
having an O2 tank on an airplane.
Airplanes have emergency oxygen for decompression etc. I’m sure the crew has access to it.
Airlines do have strict guidelines for oxygen use on flights but it may be allowed.
I must disagree about the story. It’s inaccurate. The reason is that the all commercial flight planes, carry 02 delivery devices and masks. How do I know that? I had been on a flight where an asthma patient who started having breathing difficulty where I had to intervien and TX the PT. Ć nebs. Using a simple face mask provided to me by the flight crew.
Several different occasions where I helped some people who were having problems such as COPD, MI, POST OP RESP. PROB.ALL suffered breathing difficulties. In all cases flight crew brought up med bags with resp. Equipment stacked up in it.
Victor Alkan respiratory care practitioner, paramedic.
Good story though! 🙂
Good job Victor! You may have done this many times on flights, but THIS was a Doctor. They get named all the time in life saving procedures. He probably even had a “Doctor stethoscope”. What do you see in the articles about RT’s? Nothing. “The Doctor and ‘associated personnel’ saved the life.” It might say “and nurses”, but WE know who really saves lives in hospitals, don’t we?