Lives of 500 patients saved through 7-hour long midnight operation thanks to this Bihar DM


Express News Service

PATNA: Dr SM Thiyagrajan, a young IAS officer, posted in Darbhanga as District Magistrate, averted a serious crisis and saved lives of over 500 patients in just seven hours. His actions, similar to another IAS oficer posted in Purnia district, were nothing short of heroic.

A plant generating medical oxygen at Darbhanga abruptly broke down on May 5 creating a life and death situation for 500 patients.

Dr SM Thiyagarajan’s quick thinking and swift action saved lives of the patients in not only Darbhanga but other adjoining districts as well.

The patients who needed Oxygen support were battling Covid-19 and other non-Covid diseases in Darbhanga. But due to technical problem, the plant broke down leaving supply of the life-saving Oxygen only for a few hours.

The Darbhanga based Oxygen plant caters to the needs of not only Darbhanga but also Madhubani and other adjoining districts.

The pipe that ensures flow of medical oxygen to storage tanker had burst.

“It was shattering to hear about the plant situated at Madhopati at 6.00 pm on May 5. We rushed to the site and started making alternative arrangements to continue the supply of Oxygen till the O2 generation was restarted”, the Darbhanga DM said.

Leaving nothing to chance, the DM flashed an SOS message to headquarters and the asked the management bodies of other district hospitals to be on alert with an alternative plan.

He said “at the moment all my senses focused only on rectifying the problem and avoid any untoward development.”

He contacted the district magistrates of neighbouring districts like Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Purnia, Kishanganj and Begusarai to provide back-up Oxygen cylinders.

Development commissioner of Bihar Amir Subhani was also informed about the crisis.

A control room was set up immediately where DM Thiyagarajan camped till the alternative arrangements were put in place.

A vehicle carrying 27 cylinders from Madhubani was sent to DMCH and oxygen was arranged from various sources for the night.

The Darbhanga DM arranged help from an oxygen plant in Deoghar, which was also facing similar situation. The technician from Deoghar through whatsApp video call guided the technician of Darbhanga in the presence of the DM on the night of May 5 and showed him how to fix the problem.

Thiyagarajan ordered a welding machine from Begusarai.The DM of Begusarai also rushed 50 cylinders with some technicians at 12.30 am, which reached Darbhanga at 2.30 am covering a distance of 115 km.

Samastipur sent 60 big oxygen cylinders that reached at 12.10 am in Darbhanga, followed by 60 cylinders from Muzaffarpur at 1.00 am. 

All cylinders arranged throughout the night by the DM provided a backup till the morning of May 6.

While the Oxygen arrangements were being made, the technical problem was fixed and normal generation of medical oxygen started at 3.35 am. 

A vehicle carrying 40 oxygen cylinder also reached from Purnia in morning but was sent back as regular O2 generation had resumed.

“Thanks to God and the support form various sources, 500 lives were saved,” the Darbhanga DM said.

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