One of if not the most important jobs when doing a mission to provide cost free surgery to children who wouldn’t have had it is making sure the surgeons are provided with sterilized equipment. On a Rotaplast mission we bring everything, including our own sterilizer. This job is performed by one of the non-medical volunteers and on this trip is is performed by Brian Ahern. Brian is from the Chicago area, but has always been a Philadelphia sports fan in his heart (journalistic liberty on my part).
Brian is responsible for sterilizing the equipment once is has been returned to him by the OR staff. The sterilizer works by heating up a level of water in the sterilizer to a point where it will warm the water into pressurized steam, and then it will keep the instruments heated at that temperature (around 275 degree f) for a period of 25 minutes. Once the cycle is complete, Brian changes the machine to a depressurization cycle. Once depressured, Brian checks that the special temperature tape has changed colors (meaning the equipment is sterilized) and places the tray on sterile packing, that Rotaplast brings with us on missions in one of the boxes. The tray of surgeons equipment is then wrapped and packed tight in the paper almost like a burrito, and placed in the OR for the next surgery. With one sterilization machine and three OR’s running all day and into the night, Brian has no problem keeping busy. I know this blog is read by Rotarians, so if there are any Club’s looking for a project to donate to, Rotaplast accepts donations for equipment like the sterilization machine. It could be something that travels from mission to mission with the donating Club’s name on it, for the life of the piece of equipment.
To learn more about making a donation for equipment or supplies, please complete the form below and a member of the Rotaplast team will be in touch!