Digital X-Ray Detectors & Transport Stretchers Project
This project will provide radiology equipment, specifically digital X-ray detectors for the hospital ships the Africa Mercy and Global Mercy, and patient transport stretchers for the Africa Mercy. The Africa Mercy arrived in Durban, South Africa in February 2023 and started the re-fit project work in March 2023 with completion of the re-fit in January 2024. The re-fit project work includes new radiology equipment. The Global Mercy new radiology equipment will be installed before the orthopaedic phase scheduled for December 2023 of the Sierra Leone field service.
Mercy Ships Canada Project Overview
As part of the Africa Mercy re-fit and new equipment for the Global Mercy, the digital X-ray detectors and transport stretchers equipment will be purchased and shipped to the Mercy Ships’ warehouse in the US.
Digital X-Ray Detectors
Radiology equipment has a typical lifecycle of 7-10 years. Radiology services are required 24/7 to provide diagnostic imaging for patients and crew on a routine and emergency basis and essential to providing safe surgery.
The current radiology system requires two images be taken and later stitched together in the software. The child is required to maintain in an awkward position for an extended period allowing for the child to move about and the two images then are different and cannot be properly aligned in the software. Currently, the surgeons are not getting the images they need, and the child is subject to double exposure of X-ray radiation. Also, this manual stitching of long leg images does not work in our population of children with severe deformities.
The transport stretchers for the Africa Mercy, have a usage cycle of 5-10 years to ensure safety and available maintenance parts.
The current transport stretchers on the Africa Mercy are now more than 8 years old and are approaching the end of their expected usage cycle. These must be replaced due to their age and reliability. The manufacturer no longer produces replacement repair parts needed for safety and maintenance.
Anticipated Project Impacts
Once the radiology equipment arrives at the warehouse, it will then be shipped to the Africa Mercy and the Global Mercy where it will be installed and commissioned for use. The digital X-ray detectors radiology equipment will be installed on both the Global Mercy and the Africa Mercy to simplify vendor support, biomedical maintenance tasks and ensure uniform machine functioning for radiology technicians and will be procured from an established Mercy Ships’ vendor.
The success of the project will be measured in terms of the support the equipment is able to provide direct medical services that are supplied by the volunteer crew on the Mercy Ships’ hospital vessels during the anticipated operational life span of the equipment. The number and type of patients served by the medical equipment will be linked to the future surgical plans of the organization. Both pieces of equipment could be considered core to the free surgical care and patient services that Mercy Ships provides to patients in low resource setting countries in Africa.
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