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Here’s How a Quick Thinking Doctor Saved an Asthmatic Kid’s Life on a Plane

When Dr. Guru heard that a child on-board a flight that he was in, was suffering an asthma attack, he quickly made an inhaler out of a plastic bottle. The makeshift instrument gave the much needed relief to the child in no time.

When a 2-year-old child suffered an asthma attack during a flight, thousands of feet in the air, his parents didn’t know what to do since they had accidentally packed his medication in their check-in luggage.

The inhaler available in the flight was for adults, and wasn’t of much use.

It could have been an extremely long and painful journey for the child, had it not been for a fellow passenger who quickly created a makeshift inhaler and saved his life.

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The fellow passenger, on the Air Canada flight from Spain to the US, was Dr. Khurshid Guru – Director of Robotic Surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in New York.

When he found out that the child needed immediate medical intervention, he got together a plastic water bottle, a cup, some tape and an oxygen tank to make an inhaler.

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He basically converted an inhaler for adults into a paediatric nebuliser, a machine meant to deliver asthma medication by turning it into mist which can then be inhaled through a face mask or mouthpiece.

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He attached the adult inhaler to a hole in the bottle and added an oxygen mask through another opening he had made, so that the child could inhale both simultaneously. To make the instrument more convenient, Dr. Guru took a plastic cup and created a hole in it. He then mounted the cup on top of the bottle so that it could be held against the kid’s mouth and nose.

He asked the parents to keep the cup against the child’s mouth for some time, and half an hour later, his oxygen level was back to normal.


Dr. Guru said that it is a wakeup call for all the families to keep such medical instruments with them at all times as you never know when the need might arise. The doctor has worked on several high-tech robots to treat patients in the past.

All pics: Twitter

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