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Lifebox surgical headlight

A low-cost, high quality headlight for use in operating rooms in resource-constrained settings
Country: United-Kingdom
Contact Person: Rémy Turc


In a recent survey of surgeons working in low or middle-income countries, 48% indicated their facility experienced frequent power outages (Forrester et al. 2017). Even in facilities with a functioning backup generator, there is a lighting gap when switching from mains to generator power.

Poor surgical lighting represents a major patient safety issue in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), with 80% of surgeons in such environments reporting their current lighting is inadequate for performing safe operations, and 18% reporting knowledge of a patient harmed due to unsafe lighting.

Lifebox estimates that every year 24 million patients in low- and middle-income countries are at risk due to inadequate or unreliable lighting during surgery, representing a major patient safety issue. While surgical headlights are commonly used in operating rooms worldwide, they are not accessible or affordable for most surgeons in LMICs.

Our aim is simple – to save lives, avoid cancellations of essential and emergency surgery due to lighting problems, prevent unnecessary deaths from unsafe surgery and to empower surgical teams in low-resource countries with a robust, low-cost headlight to be used during operations. Lifebox worked to design, develop and test a sturdy, fit-for-purpose surgical headlight.

More than an essential practical tool in itself, the Lifebox Light is conceived as a tool that improves safe surgical practices in LMICs and is a vehicle for surgeons’ engagement in teamwork/communications leadership programs, particularly WHO surgical safety checklist implementation



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Level of development:

Prototype but not yet marketed or available for regular use

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