Doctor Rigs Device to Help Child on Plane

Dr. Khurshid Guru used water bottle to make nebulizer
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2015 12:41 PM CDT
Doctor Rigs Device to Help Child on Plane
Dr. Khurshid Guru or MacGyver?   (Twitter)

A doctor who came to the aid of a toddler during a transatlantic flight last week is being referred to as a "medical MacGyver." Dr. Khurshid Guru says he heard a call for a doctor after a family reported that their 2-year-old son, who has asthma, was having trouble breathing. "The child had developed a cold" three or four hours into a nearly eight-hour flight from Spain to New York on Sept. 18, but his parents had accidentally packed his medication in their checked luggage, Guru tells ABC News. Guru, the director of robotic surgery at New York's Roswell Park Cancer Institute, says he was alarmed to find the child's oxygen level had fallen to around 88%—that's dangerous—and though there was an adult inhaler on board, Guru feared the child wouldn’t understand how to use it.

Using the inhaler, a water bottle, and an oxygen tank, Guru—who WGRZ reports developed one of the first robotic surgical simulators—came up with his own design for a nebulizer. He attached the oxygen tank to one end of the bottle and put the inhaler through a small hole so the child would get oxygen and medication through the bottle's opening. "As the bottle went near to the child's face, he pushed it away," Guru says, so he added a plastic cup to act as a kind of mask. "Within about half an hour and two treatments he was sounding much better," Guru says. This child's oxygen level rose to around 95% and by the time the flight landed, the boy was playing with his mom. Guru's advice: always keep vital medication nearby. (More uplifting news stories.)

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