Mapping the world of safer surgery



In 2010, The Lancet published a study by Lifebox associates of the number of operating rooms in the world – and the number without a pulse oximeter.

They estimated 77,000.

77,000 life-saving spaces, delivering urgent surgical care without that life-saving monitor.

But numbers at that scale are academic. What does 77,000 mean to the individual patient or anaesthesia provider? And more to the point: where in the world are there?

Over the last six years, Lifebox has met thousands of them.

Working with colleagues across more than 100 countries, we’ve partnered to deliver training workshops – 120 and climbing. We’ve built up local faculty to extend and extend this essential education to more than 5000 providers worldwide.

And we’ve put more than 15,000 oximeters directly into their hands.

Where exactly? With our new Global Impact Map, you can see for yourself! Click your way across continents, and zoom in to countries, regions, roads – down to the individual facilities where we’re working, and see what a difference your support is making.

Each oximeter has a story – has many stories, really – of miles traveled, providers strengthened, patients protected.

This week we’ll be sharing some personal ones from the Lifebox team. More than six years and 15,000 oximeters in, we asked them to tell us about their favourite oximeters.

From our founder and chair Atul Gawande’s gift to his ancestral home in India, to the Solomon Islands where ‘Life ain’t safe without a Lifebox,’ the stories just kept coming.

If a silent operating room is a dangerous one, our map should come with sound effects: a cacophony of safety, beeping out in once quiet spaces.

How about you – what’s your favourite?

Follow along, and share your story, at #LifeboxImpact.