Anesthesiologist Assistant students raise money to save lives in African operating rooms
Monday, April 30, 2012
70 percent of sub-Saharan operating rooms are ill-equipped
SAVANNAH, Ga. (April 30, 2012) – Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA) students from South University have raised more than $1,000 to purchase pulse oximeters for operating rooms in Africa. The students, working through the nonprofit Lifebox Foundation (www.Lifebox.org), raised the money by collecting donations and selling identification badge clips at the American Academy of Anesthesiologist Assistants (AAAA) conference and to medical staff at Savannah-area hospitals.
“As AA students, we learn the importance of monitoring a patient’s blood-oxygen levels,” said AA student Claire Wainwright, one of the student leaders in the class of 2013. “When we heard that many operating rooms in Africa lack pulse oximeters, the class became very excited to be able to help such a worthy cause.”
Each pulse oximeter kit, which costs just $250, is a non-invasive medical device that checks the level of oxygen in a patient’s bloodstream and sounds an alarm as soon as it detects an unsafe change. The World Health Organization recognized the critical importance of universal access to pulse oximetry in its Second Global Patient Safety Challenge that encourages worldwide use of its Surgical Safety Checklist.
“Lifebox is very thankful for the dedication and generous support from the Anesthesiologist Assistant students at South University. Their recognition of oximeters as a critical piece in surgical practice, combined with hard work and fundraising efforts, fits into our recently launched ‘Make it Zero’ campaign to improve surgical safety around the world,” said Pauline Philip, CEO of Lifebox. “We aim to reduce death rates and clinical complications in operating rooms that otherwise would not have access to these important life-saving tools and educational materials.”
Although the AAAA conference is over, the students’ quest to raise awareness and as much money as possible for Lifebox continues. They are selling badge clips, hand-made by the students from discarded medicine-bottle caps, to personnel at Candler Hospital, Memorial University Medical Center, and St. Joseph’s Hospital. The class is also selling beverage holders featuring the Lifebox logo.
“The goal of Lifebox is to cut surgical death rates in half by closing the global pulse oximetry gap and promoting use of the Surgical Safety Checklist,” said Stacie Wong, M.D., an anesthesiologist and professor in the Master of Medical Science in Anesthesiologist Assistant program. “The fact that our students have chosen to devote their limited time to this project shows a strong commitment to patient safety worldwide.”
About the Anesthesiologist Assistant program
South University’s Master of Medical Science in Anesthesia Science program prepares competent entry-level anesthesiologist assistants who will practice in the anesthesia care team model. Students will learn to provide safe and efficacious anesthesia care to patients of all ages and degrees of illness for a complete range of surgical procedures. The program strives to enhance the overall knowledge and practice of the anesthesia care team by providing students with proficiencies in physiology, pharmacology, patient monitoring, anesthesia equipment and the principles of safe anesthesia care. The program provides education in current practices in anesthesiology and seeks to instill the highest standards of professionalism and service to patients and the community. The program is based on a relationship between South University and the Mercer University School of Medicine – Savannah campus, located at Memorial University Medical Center.
About Lifebox Foundation
The not-for-profit organization Lifebox Foundation, formed in April 2011, grew out of a global initiative to make surgery safer worldwide: the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, which has been shown to reduce surgical complications and death by more than one third. Lifebox is working to make sure no patient dies simply because a pulse oximeter is not available during surgery. The group worked with international clinicians and manufacturers to develop the world's foremost low-cost, high-quality pulse oximeter compliant with all international standards. Each oximeter package costs $250 USD, including delivery, and also includes an educational CD with training materials for self-learning, and classroom programs to teach others about pulse oximetry and the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist.
Lifebox recently launched the Make It Zero campaign, a two-year initiative to put 5,000 oximeters into operating rooms in low-resource settings. Please visit http://www.lifebox.org to make a donation.
About South University
Established in 1899, South University (www.southuniversity.edu) is a private, accredited academic institution dedicated to providing educational opportunities for the intellectual, social and professional development of a diverse student population. South University offers over 50 degree programs across its 12 campuses located in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia. South University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of South University. OH Registration # 11-07-1971T; Licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent Education, License No. 2987.
See suprograms.info for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important information.