To improve care, a nonprofit ensures the longevity of medical equipment

by Olga Deshchenko, DOTmed News Reporter | March 23, 2011
From the March 2011 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

The majority of equipment donations to the organization come from private donors, equipment vendors and hospital systems — poorly resourced hospitals most often lack portable X-ray systems, anesthesia devices, operating tables, sterilizers and other equipment necessary for providing and monitoring invasive treatments.

Portable X-ray unit
arrives in Haiti

“We also take medical equipment donations that may be too high-tech or they may not be mission-appropriate for work in a developing country,” Moss says. “We’ll take those devices and we’ll put the money back into our foundation to continue our biomed training programs abroad and help support our mission trip travel costs. We don’t turn down a lot of equipment.”

The nonprofit also welcomes financial donations and is always looking for experienced service engineers interested in taking a trip with the organization. Many biomed techs and service engineers already donate their personal time to assist with the missions.

One of the service volunteers who had traveled to a small Guatemalan hospital with the nonprofit got a first-hand look at how facilities rely on creative solutions in the absence of proper equipment when a woman gave birth to premature twins at the hospital.

The clinical team needed to stabilize their core temperature, and didn’t have access to incubators. One of the doctors wrapped the babies up in blankets and rushed them to the hospital kitchen. He put the newborns in the oven on the “warm” setting and used a mercury thermometer to monitor their temperature.

Inventive use of the available resources saved the twins, and TriMedx Foundation was able to provide the necessary technology for that hospital to avoid similar situations in the future, says Moss. Such cases point to the importance of matching the right equipment with the ability to efficiently service the devices, enabling providers to maintain a continuity of care.

“We’re amazed at what people can do when they’ve got the appropriate medical equipment to help provide and increase the level of health care in the facility,” says Moss.

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