Small District Hospital Lab

… in more ways than one.

 The space itself was tiny. Itsy bitsy. Maybe 12 feet by 6 feet. And that’s a pretty generous estimate.

They have a hematocrit centrifuge and reader, a microscope and a tabletop centrifuge. They also have 2 sinks, the stains for malaria and TB slide readings, a bed for blood collection, an insulated container for blood bags and a small desk.

They have a blood chemistry analyzer and a still (for distilling water) but no space to set them up. And the blood chemistry analyzer reagents are probably expired. They don’t have sticks for the rapid urinalysis. (I watched them just dump a sample immediately after recieving it because they had no way to check for protein in the urine.)

I also watched a person donate blood to a relative. The child had a hemoglobin count of 3.7, which is suuuuper low. The man came in and they checked blood type, syphillis and HIV. Then the man got on the table and the lab tech put on the tourniquet and hit the vein on the first try. (Amazing!) Eventually the little bag filled up and she tied a knot in the tube from the needle to the bag. Then, disturbingly, she cut off the needle, recapped it and put it in the regular trash, not the sharps box. EEK. She transferred some of it to a pediatric pack by sticking a needle into the part of the tube left on the first bag and it filled up. She then tied knots in both strings… and again threw the needle in the trash. Quite distressing.

Sadly, no new device ideas. The only complaints I could get from there were that they need more space and more reagents. Sadly, neither of those can really be fixed by a senior design project. The reagent shortages are honestly a government mismanagement of supplies. It is such a widespread problem.

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