New charity hopes to provide cheap pulse oximeters to hospitals in poor countries

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 19 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6649
  1. Jane Feinmann
  1. 1London

Taken for granted in most Western hospitals, the pulse oximeter is set to form the centrepiece of an ambitious new initiative of the World Health Organization’s “Safe surgery saves lives” programme.

From next year a new charity, Lifebox, will deliver robust, inexpensive pulse oximeters along with educational materials anywhere in the world for just $250 (£160; €180), including postage and packaging (and $25 for a replacement probe). The aim is to save hundreds of thousands of lives by ensuring that every patient undergoing anaesthesia has routine continuous oximetry.

“We now know that around 32 million operations are carried out every year …

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