One of the hallmarks of the Lifebox program is that the organization and its volunteers do more than just deliver donated pulse oximeters to O.R.s in developing nations that don’t have them. Importantly, Lifebox is committed to working closely with the local staff who receive them, helping to supply ongoing training and education in their facilities.

A recent study published in the journal Anaesthesia indicates that the Lifebox program is having a measurable impact on the safety of patients in low-resources settings. A year-long study in 2014-15 in Malawi showed that the 86 pulse oximeters donated there helped to contribute to a 36 percent reduction in the number of patients who experienced hypoxemic episodes during and after surgery.

These notable patient safety improvements took place against a backdrop of some of the most challenging surgical conditions on earth. Previous...

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