Pulse oximetry is widely accepted as essential monitoring for safe anaesthesia, yet is frequently unavailable in resource-limited settings. The Lifebox pulse oximeter, and associated management training programme, was delivered to 79 non-physician anaesthetists attending the 2011 Uganda Society of Anaesthesia Annual Conference. Using a standardised assessment, recipients were tested for their knowledge of oximetry use and hypoxia management before, immediately following and 3-5 months after the training. Before the course, the median (IQR [range]) test score for the anaesthetists was 36 (34-39 [26-44]) out of a maximum of 50 points. Immediately following the course, the test score increased to 41 (38-43 [25-47]); p < 0.0001 and at the follow-up visit at 3-5 months it was 41 (39-44 [33-49]); p = 0.001 compared with immediate post-training test scores, and 75/79 (95%) oximeters were in routine clinical use. This method of introduction resulted in a high rate of uptake of oximeters into clinical practice and a demonstrable retention of knowledge in a resource-limited setting.
© 2014 The Authors. Anaesthesia published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland.