We’re finding new ways to make surgery and anaesthesia safer – and writing the literature as we go. Here’s some of the research from our friends and colleagues around the world.
“Lifebox, an organization that has seized a responsibility to be an advocate for the provision of safe anaesthesia and surgery for all patients.” Elizabeth T. Drum, International Anesthesia Research Society, June 15, 2016, Volume 6, Number 12
The safety of anesthesia was dramatically improved by the introduction of pulse oximetry. However, clinicians in low- and middle-income countries lack access to basic anaesthesia equipment. The Lifebox Foundation was formed to determine how a suitable oximeter could be made available to anesthesia providers in these countries. Angela Enright et al. International Anesthesia Research Society, June 15, 2016, Volume 6, Number 12
The Accuracy of 6 Inexpensive Pulse Oximeters Not Cleared by the Food and Drug Administration: The Possible Global Public Health Implications
Low-cost pulse oximeters have become increasingly available with limited regulatory agency oversight. The Lifebox pulse oximeter is cited as a model proven to meet US FDA accuracy standards. Michael S. Lipnick et al, Anesthesia & Analgesia, 13th April 2016
Lifebox is one of around 400 NGOs providing surgery in 139 low/middle income countries. Joshua S. Ng-Kamstra et al, World Journal of Surgery, 23rd March 2016
Lifebox trustee Dr Alexander Hannenberg with an eloquent recognition of the context, challenges and value of celebrating incremental improvements that lead to long-term change. Anaesthesia. 2015, 70, 1335-1344
Implementation of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist and surgical swab and instrument counts at a regional referral hospital in Uganda – a quality improvement project
In spite of the barriers – particularly understaffing, malfunctioning equipment or total lack of it – the improvmenet is evident. Through evaluation and structured feedback, the team was able to raise compliance rates from 29.5% to 85% (using the Checklist) and from 25.5% – 83% (counting surgical swabs). Lilaonitkul M. et al, Anaesthesia. 2015 Dec;70(12):1345-55
Incidence of hypoxia and related events detected by pulse oximeters provided by the Lifebox Foundation in the maternity unit at Sylvanus Olympio University Teaching Hospital, Togo
The Lifebox oximeter enables early detection of hypoxia for patients undergoing surgery before irreversible damage occurs. Pulse oximetry is cost-effective intervention and should be more accessible in all operating rooms of this type. Sama H.D. et al, Journal of Anesthesia. 2015 Dec;29(6):971-3
Dr Shrikant Jaiswal is the first and only anaesthetist in Umarkhed, the central Indian town in the state of Maharashtra closest to the rural village where my father grew up. Atul Gawande. The Lancet 2015. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60764-4
Lifebox® and WFSA co-signatories. Matthijs Botman et al World Journal of Surgery (2015) 39:1335-1340
All the data from this landmark undertaking to understand and take action on global surgery.
Lifebox Chair Atul Gawande contributes to this insightful review into the landmark study. Mock CN et all, Lancet. 2015 May 30;385(9983):2209-19
Spotlight on surgery. Evidence on intervention efficacy and programme effectiveness for the leading causes of global disease burden.
Avoidable maternal and neonatal deaths associated with improving access to caesarean delivery in countries with low caesarean delivery rates: an ecological modelling analysis
Increased caesarean delivery in countries with low CDRs could avert as many as 163,513 maternal deaths and 803,129 neonatal deaths annually. G Molina et al. Lancet, 2015 April 27; 385 Suppl 2:S33. do: 10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60828-5
Pulse oximetry is a cost-effective intervention for low-income settings. Samantha L Burn, Peter J Chilton, Atul A Gawande and Richard J Lilford, Bull World Health Organ 2014;92:858-867
Considerable inadequacy in global met need for EmOC, with vast disparities between countries of different income levels. H. Holmer et al. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 2015 Jan;122(2):183-9. doi: 10.1111/1471-0528.13230.
Tom Bashford, Sophie Reshamwalla, Jacqueline McAuley, Nikole H Allen, Zahira McNatt, Yohannes D Gebremedhen. Patient Safety in Surgery 2014, 8:16. doi:10.1186/1754-9493-8-16
Isabeau A. Walker, Tom Bashford, J. E. Fitzgerald, Iain H. Wilson. Curr Anesthesiol Rep (2014) 4:90–99
Evaluation of a large-scale donation of Lifebox pulse oximeters to non-physician anaesthetists in Uganda.
Finch, L. C., Kim, R. Y., Ttendo, S., Kiwanuka, J. K., Walker, I. A., Wilson, I. H., Weiser, T. G., Berry, W. R. and Gawande, A. A. (2014), Anaesthesia, 69: 445–451. doi: 10.1111/anae.12632
G.Dubowitz, K.Breyer, M.Lipnick, J.W. Sall, J.Feiner, K.Ikeda, D.G.MacLeod, P.E.Bickler; Anaesthesia 2013 (doi:10.1111/anae.12382)
Quality improvement in low resource settings: an Ethiopian experience
T.Bashford, British Journal of Hospital Medicine, May 2013, Vol 74, No 5
- An overview of quality and safety in heathcare Alan F. Merry, (2013) 60:101-110
- Perioperative checklist methodologies Thomas G. Weiser, William R. Berry (2013) 60:136-142
- Safety aspects of anesthesia in under-resourced locations Angela Enright (2013)60:152-158
Tropical Medicine and International Health. January 2013, volume 18 no 1 pp 117-128. L. Thairu, M. Wirth, K.Lunze
Health priorities post-2015: surgery must feature on the priority health agenda for the 15 years after 2015
Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda. S. December 20, 2012. Reshamwalla, S. Kessler, I. Wilson
Improving access to quality surgical care at first-level hospitals could reduce a tremendous burden of maternal and neonatal conditions in LMICs. H. Higashi et al. British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.13198
Implementation of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist, Including Introduction of Pulse Oximetry, in a Resource-Limited Setting Kwok AC, Funk LM, Baltaga R, Lipsitz SR, Merry AF, Dziekan G, Ciobanu G, Berry WR, Gawande AA, Ann Surg. 2012 Nov 30
Paediatric Anaesthesia. 2012 Oct;22(10)947-51. Ivani G, Walker I, Enright A, Davidson A.
I. A. Walker, S. Reshamwalla and I. H. Wilson
Changes in safety attitude and relationship to decreased postoperative morbidity and mortality following implementation of a checklist-based surgical safety intervention
Haynes AB, Weiser TG, Berry WR, Lipsitz SR, Breizat AH, Dellinger EP, Dziekan G, Herbosa T, Kibatala PL, Lapitan MC, Merry AF, Reznick RK, Taylor B, Vats A, Gawande AA;Safe Surgery Saves Lives Study Group. Qual Saf Health Care. 2011 Jan;20(1):102-7.
Merry AF, Cooper JB, Soyannwo O, Wilson IH, Eichhorn JH. Can J Anaesth. 2010 Nov; 57 (11):1027-34. Epub 2010 Sep 21
An iterative process of global quality improvement: the International Standards for a Safe Practice of Anesthesia 2010
Merry AF, Cooper JB, Soyannwo O, Wilson IH, Eichhorn JH. Can J Anaesth. 2010 Nov; 57 (11):1021-6. Epub 2010 Sep 21.
Funk LM, Weiser TG, Berry WR, Lipsitz SR, Merry AF, Enright AC, Wilson IH, Dziekan G, Gawande AA. Lancet. 2010 Sep 25;376(9746):1055-61. Epub 2010 Jul 2.
Walker IA, Merry AF, Wilson IH, McHugh GA, O’Sullivan E, Thoms GM, Nuevo F, Whitaker DK; GO Project teams. Anaesthesia. 2009 Oct; 64 (10):1051-60.
Walker IA, Wilson IH. Lancet. 2008 Mar 22; 371 (9617):968-9
Walker I, Wilson I, Bogod D. Anaesthesia. 2007 Dec; 62 Suppl 1:2-3.
Merry AF, Webster CS. F1000 Med Rep. 2009 Sep 14;1. pii: 69.