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UWIDEF, FLOW donate $2.4 million GlideScope to the UHWI

Published:Friday | November 11, 2016 | 12:00 AM

The University of the West Indies Development and Endowment Fund (UWIDEF), in partnership with telecommunications provider FLOW, donated a much-needed GlideScope (video laryngoscope) valued at J$2.4 million to the University Hospital of the West Indies' (UHWI) anaesthetic department.

UWIDEF's executive director, Carla Seaga, and board member Karl Wright were both on hand at the recent presentation ceremony. Seaga indicated that her organisation was pleased that UWIDEF had been able to make their annual gift to the hospital due to FLOW's support.

Meanwhile, Wright explained that the equipment was funded with returns yielded from an invested contribution FLOW (formerly the then Telephone Company of Jamaica, TOJ) made to UWIDEF in 1995.

"Returns yielded from the investment have been used over the years to support the hospital with replacing obsolete equipment and improving patient-care delivery," Wright said.




Dr Hyacinth Harding-Goldson, head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, said her team and the students were extremely grateful for the well-needed equipment.

She said that the GlideScope was needed not only for health-care delivery, but to help train medical students as well.

"Failure to properly place this tube in the correct location or in a short period of time can result in injury to the patent's lungs and low oxygen levels, causing damage to the brain, heart or other organs and even death," Harding-Goldson explained.

"In patients with cervical spinal cord disease or injury, often seen in motor vehicle crashes, attempts at placement of the breathing tube using conventional laryngoscopes may damage the spinal cord further and produce permanent paralysis," she added.

By acquiring this vital piece of equipment, the doctors at the UHWI can now not only care for their patients with increased safety, but can provide training of anaesthetists and intensivists in life-saving techniques.