Trees to the Rescue when COVID19 Disrupts the Oxygen Cylinder Supply in India

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Peepal tree for oxygen

A young man, Pradeep Singh, takes refuge under a tree when he experiences shortness of breath and chest pain due to low oxygen levels

COVID19 pandemic changed a lot of things around us. With the rapidly mutating strains of COVID19, medical technology has not been able to match the speed, hence the chaos. Similarly, when a devastating strain of coronavirus engulfed India, the hospitals started to flood with symptomatic patients looking for treatment. Shortage of beds, staff, hospitals, resources, and the most important treatment modality: the oxygen cylinders, surfaced. Therefore, many COVID19 positive patients failed to receive the treatment they needed. This gave birth to the idea of utilising trees as an oxygen source.

Among these patients was a young man, Pradeep Singh, from Panipat, Haryana. He developed symptoms of COVID19 including chest pain and shortness of breath. Although he required an oxygen cylinder due to low O2 saturation, he was unable to secure one. After a thorough search, he was left with no option. However, despite the scarcity of resources, he didn’t give up.

Then how did he rescue himself?

Nature came to his rescue!!

The childhood science lesson: ‘Trees take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen,’ came in handy when the oxygen cylinders were outnumbered by the COVID positive patients. Pradeep started sitting under the tree for 8 to 10 hours each day. Within 3 days, his O2 saturation returned to normal values. However, he continued sitting under the tree for the next few days to complete 10 days in total.

In 10 days, the patient was asymptomatic and had recovered substantially. His chest pain gradually disappeared, and he no longer had difficulty in breathing.

Similarly, there have been reports from India, where the authorities asked the patients who could not find an oxygen cylinder to sit under the Peepal tree. In Hinduism, Peepal tree is the most sacred tree.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district, Covid19 patients were forced to sit under a Peepal tree as they believed that the Peepal tree gives out maximum oxygen. This is true to some extent. Although all trees give out oxygen during the day, some trees including, Peepal and Neem trees, have the capability of releasing oxygen during the night too. Probably, this ability made them popular as an oxygen source.

According to a King George’s Medical University (KGMU) doctor:

“It is probably fresh air that is helping people breathe easy.”

In other words, the impact is more psychological!

SOURCEEnglish Lokmat
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Dr. Arsia Hanif has been a meritorious Healthcare professional with a proven track record throughout her academic life securing first position in her MCAT examination and then, in 2017, she successfully completed her Bachelors of Medicine and Surgery from Dow University of Health Sciences. She has had the opportunity to apply her theoretical knowledge to the real-life scenarios, as a House Officer (HO) serving at Civil Hospital. Whilst working at the Civil Hospital, she discovered that nothing satisfies her more than helping other humans in need and since then has made a commitment to implement her expertise in the field of medicine to cure the sick and regain the state of health and well-being. Being a Doctor is exactly what you’d think it’s like. She is the colleague at work that everyone wants to know but nobody wants to be. If you want to get something done, you approach her – everyone knows that! She is currently studying with Medical Council of Canada and aspires to be a leading Neurologist someday. Alongside, she has taken up medical writing to exercise her skills of delivering comprehensible version of the otherwise difficult medical literature. Her breaks comprise either of swimming, volunteering services at a Medical Camp or spending time with family.

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