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Anesthesiologists Join Campaign To Improve Surgical Care In Developing Countries

Fri, 10/14/2011 - 6:59am

PRNewswire - Lifebox, a global not-for-profit organization, today announced that the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) has joined its campaign to provide life-saving pulse oximeters for operating rooms in developing countries around the world. ASA is the largest anesthesiology organization in the world, with 47,000 potential contributors to the Lifebox initiative. Their goal is to collect enough donations to meet 50 percent of the global need for pulse oximeters.

Pulse oximeters, a component of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist, measure the level of oxygen in a patient's blood during anesthesia, sounding an early warning alarm if a patient is becoming short of oxygen, providing an opportunity to prevent brain damage, heart failure and in some cases death. ASA made pulse oximetry a standard of care for U.S. anesthesiologists more than 25 years ago. Recent statistics estimate that the number of operating rooms working without pulse oximetry ranges from 41 percent in Latin America, to 49 percent in south Asia, to 70 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Lifebox has also received the support of other organizations, including the non-profit Smile Train, a key early funder and collaborator responsible for the donation of thousands of oximeters internationally.

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