May 27, 2010

Parceling the Operating Room

Very often, in developing countries, access to quality healthcare can be a big problem. 

No doctors, old instruments, unhygienic environments. The problems are aplenty. 

But there can be innovative solutions to them.

Dr. Seyi Oyesola points out that common, survivable ailments and injuries -- burns, trauma, heart attacks -- kill thousands of Africans each year because basic medical care can be so hard to get. 

To help bring surgical care to every region of the continent, Oyesola co-developed CompactOR, or the "Hospital in a Box": a portable medical system that contains anesthetic and surgical equipment. It consists of a pop-up, portable, solar-powered OR for off-grid medicine in Africa and elsewhere.It contains anaesthetic equipment, a defibrillator, a burns unit, plaster-making facilities, surgical equipment and a built-in operating table. It even comes with its own tent to create an ad hoc field hospital..The operating suite is light enough to be dropped into inaccessible zones by helicopter, and can be powered by solar panels.The system is powered by a truck battery, and is made to be readily recharged via solar panel. The basic kit, minus battery, costs about £14,000, or roughly US$25,000; additional modules provide support for an extensive selection of drugs and more specialized medical treatments (including orthopedic surgery).

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