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Why Donate Medical Instruments?

Why Donate Medical Instruments?
November 30, 2015 No comments

What is the Value of a Stethoscope?

To date, MDF Instruments has donated over 18,000 medical instruments to medical relief teams, NGO’s, and healthcare volunteers that work on-the-ground to provide healthcare to resource poor areas.

Perhaps you are wondering what use a stethoscope or sphygmomanometer might have in an underserved region. Please allow one of our on-the-ground Crafting Wellness partners, Dr. Omeed Saghafi, to answer this for you through his experiences serving in Nyakibale Uganda with GECC:

“In medicine we like to teach the mantra “vital signs are vital.” It should be obvious that the devices used to monitor these vital signs are equally vital.

When I arrived at Nyakibale with donated blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes from MDF instruments, I had initially assumed they wouldn’t be useful. In America, these things are a given; they are the most important part of delivering medicine. You cannot have a hospital without them. I was certain if there was anything an ED should have plenty of, it would be blood pressure cuffs and stethoscopes. I was naïve.

On my arrival, the ED had one remaining blood pressure cuff. The Velcro that held the cuff in place was torn to shreds. The cuff kept popping open and failing to provide a measurement 50% of the time. This drove me crazy, but was an accepted routine for a staff that had become used to taking a blood pressure three times before getting an accurate measurement.

There were only two stethoscopes hanging on the wall in the ED, and these were shared by everyone: ECPs, students, nurses, doctors – everyone. If the stethoscopes or blood pressure cuff had to be used on more than one person at a time (a nearly constant occurrence in an ED), the parts of the examination or treatment that required their use would have to be deferred until a stethoscope or cuff was available.

Now, thanks to MDF, all of the ECPs have their very own stethoscopes. There are blood pressure cuffs to go around. And, they all arrived just in time, because they are now the only working cuffs and stethoscopes in the department. They literally touch every single patient and life that comes through the Emergency Department at Nyakibale.

As I said earlier, the ECPs save lives. Every patient they see needs their care, and at least one out of every seven patients they treat would have died if they had been treated in system without ECPs. As far as I’m concerned, the people at MDF and Crafting Wellness are heroes, because it is their instruments that touch and help save all of these lives.

Unfortunately, Dr. Saghafi’s accounts are not unique to the clinic he served. Regions all over the world have difficulties acquiring quality diagnostic equipment, which directly affects the quality of healthcare that can be offered in the area. In accord with our Crafting Wellness values, MDF Instruments seeks to empower and equip medical volunteers and health workers that work to bring Wellness in underserved regions. Explore some of the teams and regions MDF has partnered with in the past here.

Posted in: blog