02 Jul 2013

Anaesthetists don their aprons to raise dough for Lifebox Foundation

Great Ormond Street cakeThe Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland is raising the competitive stakes by issuing a challenge to anaesthesia departments across the UK. The departments have been invited to put their baking skills to the test to raise vital funds for the Lifebox Foundation.

But this is no ordinary challenge. In fact, judging from the standard of entries already received, anaesthetists are taking this task very seriously. From cakes shaped like molecular structures to those resembling anatomically correct hearts, the Great Anaesthesia Bake has really taken off by itself.

Behind the sugar and spice, however, there is a more bitter side to this fundraiser. In the UK, the risk of dying from anaesthesia during an operation is less than 1 in 100,000. However, in Togo, on the west coast of Africa, it can be as high as 1 in 133.

Safer surgery

The Lifebox Foundation is a global health charity that uses technology and training to make surgery safer in low-resource countries across Africa, Asia, South America and the Western Pacific. Funds are needed to provide vital pieces of medical equipment such as the pulse oximeter.

This device measures the level of oxygen in a patient’s blood under anaesthesia. The model from Lifebox has special features – like rechargeable batteries and a super-strong case – which make it ideal for use in a hard-working operating theatre in a low-resource country.

Sarah Kessler, head of outreach for Lifebox, said: “Without appropriate equipment and access to training, healthcare workers can’t care for their patients safely and risks are shockingly high”.

She added: “For Lifebox and the AAGBI, surgery should be life-saving, not life-threatening. We’re not talking luxury or cosmetic procedures – we’re talking caesarean sections to save the lives of mothers and babies during labour, and emergency trauma care to save lives after road traffic accidents.”

Both organisations believe that the MyDonate platform has helped promote their cause. “It’s efficient, easy to use, and it lets everyone see how the Great Anaesthesia Bake is taking off around the country.”

You can view their page here:

You can also visit www.lifebox.org for more information about the Lifebox Foundation.

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