Pharmacist's oxygen flow meter 'jugaad' saved over 50 critical Covid patients in Jharkhand

Though the hospital had an adequate number of oxygen cylinders, it was facing a shortage of oxygen flow meters. Enter Shyam Kumar.

Published: 28th May 2021 08:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th May 2021 08:58 PM   |  A+A-

Pharmacist Shyam Kumar

Pharmacist Shyam Kumar whose feeding bottle jugaad saved over 50 lives. (Photo | Special Arrangement)

Express News Service

RANCHI: Jugaad by a pharmacist working with the Gumla Sadar Hospital saved the lives of more than 60 critical Covid patients when the pandemic was at its peak in April this year. 

Though the hospital had an adequate number of oxygen cylinders, it was facing a shortage of oxygen flow meters. Enter Shyam Kumar. The pharmacist first put together a unit by fixing working parts from rejected and unused flow meters.

"Still I could not get the measuring bottles used in it as it was not available in the market at that time. All of a sudden an idea came into my mind. I tried fixing a feeding bottle while waiting for the measuring bottles used in the oxygen flow meters. I brought one from the Maternity Treatment Centre (MTR) and that actually worked," said Kumar. 

Since there was an acute shortage of oxygen flow meters during the peak, no one stood in the way and it was sent for trial and worked efficiently, he added.

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"Then I assembled more than 20 such units using parts from rejected and unused oxygen flow meters and fitting them with feeding bottles. All the units worked without any hitch," said the pharmacist. 

Deputy Superintendent Dr Anand Oraon asserted that the jugaad came at a time when each of the units was vital in saving lives.

"As there were no oxygen flow meters in the hospital, a demand was raised with suppliers in Ranchi who expressed their inability to fulfill the requirement as there was an acute crisis of oxygen flow meters at that point of time. This man applied his mind," said the Deputy Superintendent. 

"More than 20 such units were created, which actually meant a lot as every unit was important at the time of crisis. Not less than 60 lives were saved with this jugaad," said the doctor.

The nursing staff also praised the pharmacist saying the lives of several Covid-19 patients were saved.

"Shyam Kumar really did a commendable job by fixing feeding bottles in the oxygen flow meters and saved lives of several people during the peak of Covid-19," said nurse Sushila Baski.


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