The Challenge: To save the lives of thousands of people undergoing surgery in under-resourced countries through the use of a simple medical device called a pulse oximeter.

The Cost: Just $250 (US) per package including delivery which includes an education CD with training materials for self learning and classroom programs.

The Benefit: By supporting you will help save a precious life – a mother, a sister, a brother, a new born baby. You will join a world movement to improve surgical safety.

Learn about the Annual Resident Lifebox Challenge

A pulse oximeter is a small, non-invasive medical device that measures the level of oxygen in a patient’s blood. The oximeter sounds an alarm as soon as it detects a low level of blood-oxygen is developing. This early warning is crucial: once a patient starts becoming short of oxygen, a doctor has less than three minutes to prevent risk of brain damage, heart failure and death.

Pulse oximeters are used as a standard in many clinical areas in hospitals throughout high income countries, such as the United Kingdom and the USA. They are critically missing from 70,000 operating rooms in low and middle income countries, where approximately 31.5 million operations take place annually without pulse oximetry. Millions of lives are placed at unnecessary risk.

Lifebox grew out of a global initiative to make surgery safer worldwide: the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist. These simple safety checks have been shown to reduce surgical complications and death by more than one third.

Now we are working to make sure no patient dies simply because a pulse oximeter is not available during surgery. After a year in consultation with international clinicians and manufacturers, Lifebox has developed the world’s foremost low-cost, high quality pulse oximeter, compliant with all international standards. It can be supplied to clinicians and hospitals in low and middle income countries for use in the operating theatre, and throughout all areas of hospitals.

Lifebox is a joint project by the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain & Ireland and the World Federation of Societies of Anaesthesiologists under the leadership of Professor Atul Gawande at Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Each oximeter package costs just $250, including delivery. Clinicians also receive an education CD with training materials for self-learning, and classroom programs to teach others about pulse oximetry and the WHO Safe Surgery Checklist. One oximeter makes a difference to hundreds of lives. Please: donate an oximeter and help us to make anaesthesia safety a right, not a geographic lottery.

Help us with the Lifebox mission, and become a part of one of the most cost-effective global health interventions in the world.