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Safe Surgery

Safe surgery helps save lives, relieves disability, and prevents death from neglected common conditions. However, 5 billion people worldwide, most of whom live in resource-poor settings, cannot access safe, affordable surgery and anesthesia care when needed. A large number of anesthesia providers in low-resource settings lack sufficient equipment and training to monitor blood oxygen levels through pulse oximetry.

Americares is committed to advancing safe surgical care. Through our Safe Surgery Initiative, we will donate pulse oximeters to qualified recipients.

Our goal is to improve access to safe surgery in low-resource settings by increasing the number of operating room staff that have access to and are trained in the use of pulse oximetry for patient monitoring, which is a component of the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist.


We will donate units and probes to be left with your in-country partner, if you:

  • Have assessed oximetry needs in the OR and recovery area of your partner facility.
  • Can provide training on their use in addition to your patient care responsibilities.
  • Can provide an in-country contact at the facility accepting responsibility for the units.

We also ask that you be willing to provide feedback in the future on how to most effectively implement this initiative.

Request Pulse Oximeters here.

Questions? Email us.

FAQ for our Pulse Oximeters here.


Here is a short prioritized list of the most essential training materials in Pulse Oximetry provided by Lifebox and WHO. Feel free to print them out and take them on your trip to help with training your in-country partner.

About the unit:

For care and handling of the oximeter:

  • Please refer to The Quick Guide that comes in the box.

For those unfamiliar with oximetry:

For those with more advanced understanding of oximetry:

Surgical Safety Checklist:

  • Americares Surgical Safety Checklist – English
  • Americares Surgical Safety Checklist – French
  • Americares Surgical Safety Checklist – Spanish

Training materials for WHO Surgical Safety Checklist:

Instructional videos:

Request Pulse Oximeters


Medical Outreach provides volunteers with an opportunity to work first hand with global communities as well as medications and supplies prior to the trip abroad.

“Our most challenging patient on this mission was a 13 year old boy with severe idiopathic scoliosis. Unable to adequately assess pulmonary function tests due to patient’s inability to understand and cooperate with the test. He was deaf and had syndromic facies. Procedure was a T2 to L3 fusion. TIVA anesthesia was vital to proper intraoperative monitoring. We were very concerned if we would be able to extubate him after the procedure and the increased blood loss and replacement. Happily, he was stable, extubated after an hour in the PACU. Continuous pulse oximetry was key in the immediate post op period and our ability to extubate knowing he would be well monitored.

Having the Lifebox pulse oximetry allowed us to always have continuous pulse oximetry while in the OR, have a dedicated pulse oximeter for the PACU patient when we had 2 in the PACU at the same time. It also allowed us to do proper preoperative assessments with O2 sat. Both oximeters were donated to the two full time anesthesiologists for future use.”

– Denise DiGioia, CRNA, Butterfly Foundation

“All FIVE pulse oximeters were a hit!!  The nurses gravitated to using them over the three old ones we had and I want to thank you and Americares for changing the face of our PACU care in Kenya!!!”

– Elizabeth Studley, CRNA, Kenya Relief

“I have returned from my six week trip to the two hospitals in Togo. They were both delighted to receive the Lifebox pulse oximeters. I have attached a picture of some of the Togolese nurses being taught the proper use by myself. Thank you for providing the pulse oximeters.”

– Dr. Edward Fitzgerald, Association of Baptists for World Evangelism (ABWE)

“The largest impact came from the pulse oximeters. There were none in the operating room or recovery areas of the hospital. We were able to provide one for use by our nurse anesthetist who instructed the staff on its use. They were thrilled to have the instrument. We were able to use the other one in the endoscopy area of the hospital where our gastroenterologist did 66 endoscopies. There were no pulse oximeters available before the ones donated by Americares were brought to endoscopy.

The availability of pulse oximeters greatly enhanced the patient safety at the hospital and provided assurance to our staff that they were operating within safety limits during surgical procedures and endoscopies.”

– Dr. Thomas Kennedy, New Orleans Medical Mission Services (NOMMS)

“All five Lifebox pulse oximeter donations were put to use in the operating rooms, recovery room, maternity ward, and eye clinic. These devices made an immediate impact on patient care and patient safety. In addition, training of local health care providers on the use of pulse oximetry was accomplished.

One of our pediatric surgery patients had an unexpected difficult airway upon intubation. Because of the Lifebox pulse oximeter, we were able to monitor her oxygen saturations appropriately as we managed her difficult airway. Another patient in the recovery room was being monitored via the Lifebox device. The patient’s saturations dropped unexpectedly and we were called to evaluate. The therapy was a pretty quick fix, but without the warning, the event could have become much worse resulting in significant patient morbidity or mortality.”

– Dr. Jeffrey Lane, Christian and Missionary Alliance