Thanks to a previous donation by BFW inc., we were able to use their headlight system on our recent international missions. It is excellent, has a hip belt battery holder and the headlight halo is light, discreet enough to permit a camera fixation and not intrude on the operating eye loops.
It was literally responsible for saving the lives of four patients we operated on three countries, most recently, in Honduras. The ability to lose constant and immediate dependence on an electrical power source is a great advantage to the surgeon. If both the batteries are powered up prior to the operation, there is not even the need to change it out during the entire heart operation. In the three countries we assisted, the Operating Room was underpowered with electrical outlets, and we had to rely on extension cords (which themselves risk the possibility of permitting overload). Several power outages occurred during the intra-operative period, and in Honduras, it happened five times, one event lasting 20 minutes. Despite the existence of an Uninterrupted Power Source (UPS), these don’t always kick in as they should, so the headlight becomes the vital tool to ensure safe immediate management and control, and continuation of the operation.
Behind this photograph which illustrates a successful outcome for one of the patients we operated on in which power outage occurred, is the immense relief we privately felt that we had a headlight that was not dependent on the local supply source and allowed us to continue the operation.
Aubyn Marath MBBS MS FRCSEd ATLS
Pediatric & Adult Cardiothoracic Surgeon