Making It 0 in the Empire State of the South!

Back in May, we got a tantalizing email from Dr Faye Evans, assistant professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Emory University School of Medicine, about the upcoming Georgia Society of Anesthesiologists (GSA) meeting.

“Any chance you could come?  It is in July, on a beautiful lake in Georgia…”

Emory medical residents, led by Melissa Rader, Lyndsay Fry and Andrea Dillard, were preparing to launch a GSA campaign for Lifebox, introducing Make It 0 and encouraging members to support their anaesthetic colleagues working in low-resource settings.

We weren’t able to join them, but judging from their success, they didn’t need us!

Over the weekend, the Resident Component of the GSA raised $7000 for Lifebox, enough to send more than 25 oximeters and training to anaesthesia providers in operating rooms where they are most needed.

The students organized a fundraising raffle that included chances to win everything from zoo membership to a professional photography session, and high roller donors who bought $250 tickets – the cost of a Lifebox pulse oximeter – were eligible for even grander prizes.

Left to right: Andrea Dillard, Faye Evans, Melissa Rader, Lyndsay Fry

Just like the Lifebox pulse oximeter needs an education component to make a sustainable difference, the residents felt that Lifebox donors who understood the importance of universal pulse oximetry and safe surgery were the ones who’d have the power to make the greatest change.  The fundraiser was an opportunity to inform GSA members about the Lifebox mission: saving lives by improving the safety and quality of surgical care in low-resource countries.

“Many of the anesthesiologists at this meeting were not aware that there were millions of patients around the world undergoing general anesthesia without pulse oximetry monitoring,” said Fry. “Our goal is to expand interest in ensuring patient safety in operating rooms worldwide.”

We’re overjoyed that the GSA is joining other state societies, including Alabama, California and Massachusetts, in strengthening global patient advocacy through Lifebox fundraising and education. Thank you to everyone involved!  (We really wish we had been there.)