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:
- You can only use materials that are locally available
- Your end-product should have comparable functionality to the product it aims to replace
- It should be simple to hack, concoct, devise or contrive
- 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.
3rd Place – Lucia Mbulaje – ED Nurse – Malawi
No wall/tank oxygen.. 1x oxygen concentrator.. multiple patients needing oxygen..
This is what Lucia has to say about her solution: “Working in a resource restrained situation is so devastating but not for someone who has a sharp mind and good innovative skills. Being a resuscitation nurse at the emergency department offers a quite range of excitement for workers who have sharp mind and good innovative skills. It offers some kind of fund in adventure of finding ways to achieve desired outcomes with the absence of real equipment. For one to perform a procedure, it takes knowledge and skill about the procedure and how to use the equipment. On the other hand, it’s one thing to know how to perform a procedure and another thing to understand the mechanism of the equipment. That’s where innovation lies.”
“The resuscitation room is a four bedded space with equipment like oxygen concentrators matching the number of beds. Most often, we do have over four patients who need resuscitation at once. As a result we are forced to bring in extra beds in the resuscitation room. Since we do not have extra concentrators for the extra patients, improvising is the only option to save the lives. Ideally, one oxygen concentrator can be used for more than one patient if splitters are available e.g. “Y connector”, but the case is not the same in my situation because the splitters are not available. So we use the readily available cheap resource to achieve the same outcome and the resource we use is a “GLOVE”.
“The open part of the glove that we use when donning is attached to the outlet of the oxygen humidifier outlet. Then it is well secured with tape. The finger tips of the gloves are cut and nasal cannulas are connected and secured with tape. So when the machine is switched on, oxygen flows from the humidifier outlet into the glove where it is splitted to the five fingers and from the fingers into the nasal annuals something which enables up to five patients to benefit from one concentrator.”