Doctor Uses Shampoo Bottle To Cut Patients' Mortality Rates by 75%


Oftentimes what truly makes a person intelligent is not necessarily their ability to memorize facts and numbers (though that’s also a crucial skill for doctors), but their ability to come up with creative, actionable solutions for difficult problems.

Dr. Mohammod Jobayer Chisti is one of those individuals. His ingenuity, resourcefulness and observational skills have set him apart from the others in his field.

It all started when Dr. Chisti was an intern and witnessed a horrifying trend that led him to make a promise.

“It was my first night as an intern and three children died before my eyes,” he said. “I felt so helpless that I cried.”

From that point on, he was determined to reduce pneumonia-related deaths. After 20 years as a doctor, he has done that in his own hospital in Bangladesh thanks to a cheap device.

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According to the BBC, about 920,000 children died from pneumonia each year — many of them in impoverished areas and belonging to families with a lot of love but not enough money to pay for the treatments.

Expensive ventilators would have cost up to $15,000 — a sum most hospitals can’t afford, let alone parents. But after travel and research, Dr. Chisti took $1.25 worth of supplies (a plastic shampoo bottle and some tubing) and created his own solution.

The device is simple, but its function is crucial: The pressure created by the bubbles forces small lung air sacs to stay open, which is absolutely necessary for those suffering from pneumonia.

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“The children inhale oxygen from a tank and exhale through a tube which is inserted into a bottle of water producing bubbles in the water,” Dr. Chisti said.

“We tested it on four or five patients at random,” he continued. “We saw a significant improvement within a few hours.”

Not only is this item affordable for almost everyone, it also uses oxygen more productively and the hospital now pays only $6,000 a year for oxygen — $24,000 less than it used to be.

While more research and tests are needed (as is always the case), Dr. Chisti has helped over 600 children and believes that his simple shampoo-bottle contraption has reduced his patients’ mortality rates by about 75 percent.

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As it stands, he’s a lot closer to keeping the promise he made to end pneumonia-related death, but he hopes that his design can be implemented in other hospitals, especially ones that see a lot of childhood pneumonia cases.

“On that day, we can say that pneumonia-related mortality is near zero,” Dr. Chisti said. And if anyone can accomplish that, it’s him.

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