Feature BMJ Christmas Appeal

Pulse oximeters for all

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d8085 (Published 14 December 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d8085
  1. Jane Feinmann, freelance journalist
  1. jane{at}janefeinmann.com

What difference will a £160 (€186, $250) Lifebox pulse oximeter make to low resource countries where surgery is still routinely carried out without this piece of kit, regarded as essential in Western operating theatres?

“It will reduce mortality during anaesthesia,” says Merhab Apiny, anaesthetic officer at Health Centre IV in Mukono Town, one of Uganda’s fastest growing urban areas, 20 kilometres south of Kampala.

“Patients die,” she says, “because anaesthetic officers assume that spinal anaesthesia especially is safe and so may not always monitor the patient closely or notice if he or she stops breathing. But the early warning alarm on the Lifebox pulse oximeter alerts us so that we can take the necessary action.”

The BMJ’s Christmas Appeal this year is raising money for Lifebox—which …

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