Gifted Life-Saving Equipment

Anyone who has experienced being ill or witnessed a loved one go through an illness can attest to the truthfulness of this statement. UWIDEF understands that the lack of health can change lives dramatically and causes us to recall our fragile mortality. It is therefore important for us to support healthcare whenever possible.

We have all heard stories, and in some cases experienced it ourselves, about needing treatment of a particular type but being told by hospital personnel that the hospital does not have the equipment required or the one they have no longer works. It is, therefore, no surprise that being able to contribute to Jamaica’s teaching hospital is one of UWIDEF’s highest priorities, and so UWIDEF, through its partnership with Flow, makes an annual donation to the University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI).

One example of this priority being put into action was in 2016 when UWIDEF provided a glidescope to the UHWI to assist with emergency care and to help train potential doctors in Jamaica. On hand to receive the lifesaving equipment, Dr. Hyacinth HardingGoldson, Head of the Department of Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, explained that “Failure to properly place this tube in the correct location or in a short period can result in injury to the patient’s lungs and low oxygen levels causing damage to the brain, heart or other organs and even death.”

Dr. Harding-Goldson also noted that “for in patients with cervical spinal cord disease or injury, often seen in motor vehicle crashes, attempts at placement of the breathing tube using conventional laryngoscopes may damage the spinal cord further and produce permanent paralysis.”

Lifesaving equipment gifted to the UHWI.jpg

The glidescope machine consists of video laryngoscopy which, “utilizes fiberoptic technology to place a small camera on a device that is inserted into the patient’s mouth and projects the image onto a screen. This allows the user to quickly and safely intubate the patient.”

According to Dr. Harding-Goldson, “video laryngoscopy represents a major advancement in the safe placement of a patient’s breathing tube with improved visualization of the opening of the windpipe, improved success rates, and decreased time-to-intubate when compared with conventional direct laryngoscopy. Video laryngoscopy has thus become the standard of care internationally. By acquiring this vital piece of equipment, the doctors at the UHWI can now, not only care for their patients with increased safety but can also provide training for anaesthetists and intensivists in this life-saving technique.”