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Sophie Reshamwalla: Lifebox in the mist—a premier sojourn in Rwanda

2 Oct, 12 | by BMJ

Getting to Rwanda takes ages. I don’t know why there isn’t a direct flight to Kigali from the UK but there just isn’t—which meant that my journey there took close to 24 hours (via Kenya and Burundi). I have travelled through East Africa plenty before, but this was my first trip to Rwanda. I went through customs with my hackles raised and my barriers up, ready to fight through the onslaught of taxi and hotel offers—but there were none. Forget “This is Africa”—This is Rwanda. Aside from the occasional gentle inquiry from a local about whether I was ok, I was left to my own devices as everyone went about their business. more…

Douglas Noble on Lifebox

13 Dec, 11 | by BMJ Group

It’s great to see patient safety getting such a prominent focus on bmj.com this Christmas with support for the charity Lifebox. Lifebox’s first aim is trying to ensure a pulse oximeter gets into every operating theatre across the world. I hope we’ll all manage to give generously http://www.bmj.com/multimedia/video/2011/12/02/lifebox-appeal-atul-gawande

The desire for safer surgery has gathered momentum in recent years, especially with the interest shown by the World Health Organization’s Patient Safety Programme. I had the privilege in mid-2006 when working with WHO of meeting with Atul Gawande’s two wingmen in a quiet corner of L-Building at WHO headquarters in Geneva. They outlined an impressive vision for a surgical checklist and within months international consensus building was underway. I always thought this drive for patient safety in surgery would go a long way, but never quite imagined just how far in only five years. Once the American drama Emergency Room had featured it in one of their episodes success seemed certain.  more…

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