No electrodes, no problem

No electrodes, no problem

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The 2015 AfJEM Resource Innovation Competition

In the preparation for the 19th World Congress on Disaster & Emergency Medicine held in Cape Town – AfJEM asked African Emergency Medicine lovers something interesting –

“Can you hack, concoct, devise or contrive a wanted resource using only locally available materials? You can..? Really..? Now you can show it off & win some amazing prizes”

The rules of engagement we were given were:

  1. You can only use materials that are locally available
  2. Your end-product should have comparable functionality to the product it aims to replace
  3. It should be simple to hack, concoct, devise or contrive
  4. It should be novel (not have been described before)

#badEM authors & friends quickly went hard at work to submit our “tricks of the trade” & were excited to hear about the entries at the conference. After numerous entries Dr Stevan Bruijns & the AfJEM team voted for a Top 5; described below.

1st Place – Emmanuel Acheampong – ED Nurse – Ghana @achiegh

No electrodes, no problem

This is what Emmanuel had to say about his innovation: “There are times in the emergency department (ED) when there are no electrodes available to place patient on a monitor. In resource limited settings like Ghana, it is very expensive to replenish disposable electrodes and it is quite common to run out of electrodes in the ED. Improvisation in medicine has become a solution to daily problems encountered in resource limited settings. You can use cotton swab as a replacement for your electrodes.
1. Get three moderate sized cotton swabs and make it slightly moist.
2. Place the cotton swabs in position as you would electrodes for monitors.
3. Attach the probes of the monitor to the swabs and tape over the probe and swab as shown in pictures.
4. Turn on the monitor and inspect the ECG tracings”

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