ASPAN Announces Partnership with Lifebox Global to Improve Surgical Safety and Care with Life-Saving Patient Monitoring Tools
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CHERRY HILL, NEW JERSEY, April 10, 2012—The American Society of Perianesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) today announced its partnership with Lifebox, a global not-for-profit organization aimed at reducing unnecessary deaths through safer surgery. ASPAN is joining a two-year international campaign titled “Make it Zero,” which seeks to distribute 5,000 pulse oximeters to operating rooms across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. To help support this important initiative, ASPAN is urging its 14,500 members to donate to the campaign. $250 USD is enough to send one pulse oximeter and educational materials to a hospital in need.

Pulse oximeters, a component of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist, measure the level of oxygen in a patient’s blood during anesthesia, sounding an early warning alarm if a patient is becoming short of oxygen, providing an opportunity to prevent brain damage, heart failure, and, in some cases, death.

While pulse oximeters are the standard of care in many hospitals, they are critically missing from thousands of operating rooms globally. According to a recent estimate, approximately 77,000 operating rooms worldwide are working without pulse oximeters.1

Speaking of the partnership, ASPAN Chief Executive Officer, Kevin Dill, said, “We are honored to help Lifebox in its endeavors to help ensure that no patient dies because basic safety checks and a pulse oximeter were not used during surgery. We encourage our members to learn more about the organization and support this important campaign.”

“Lifebox is very thankful for the generous support from ASPAN, which allows us to supply medical facilities around the world with life-saving tools and educational materials,” said Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, founder of Lifebox, Surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. “Lifebox hopes to cut death rates in surgery by up to a half worldwide with increased access to pulse oximetry and use of the World Health Organization Surgical Safety Checklist.”

The “Make it Zero” campaign is running from April 1, 2012, to April 1, 2014. Donations can be made online at

ASPAN represents the interests of over 55,000 nurses who practice in preanesthesia and postanesthesia care, outpatient surgery, and pain management settings. Its mission includes providing members with the latest in perianesthesia education, research, standards, networking, and advocacy. ASPAN is available online at

1Funk LM et al. Global operating theatre distribution and pulse oximetry supply: an estimation from reported data. Lancet. 2010 Sep 25;376(9746):1055-61. Epub 2010 Jul 2.

Click here for a .pdf of the release.

R. Douglas Hanisch
Marketing and Communications Manager
American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses ∙ 877.737.9696, x. 15
90 Frontage Road, Cherry Hill, NJ  08034

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