Floating Doctors Rely on "180"

President of Floating Doctors Calls the 180 "Indispensable" to Challenging Global Missions

Dr. Ben LaBrot, Director/President of Floating Doctors, recently wrote to compliment our Sonosite 180™ ultrasound system and describe in beautiful terms the work it helps him perform on his international medical missions. While the 180 is one of our older products, it's still delivering amazing results under some very challenging conditions. As we like to say around here: If a 180 can perform like that, imagine what an Edge could do!

With Dr. LaBrot's permission, we share selections from his letter from Panama:

I am the director of the Floating Doctors non-profit medical team, an all-volunteer group of clinicians and support staff providing medical services to remote communities. Since we set sail in 2010 for our first mission in Haiti, we have had a Sonosite 180 series on board. It has survived 6,000 miles of open-ocean voyaging during our mission to Haiti after the earthquake, to Honduras after the government coup, to Haiti again during the cholera epidemic, and then to Panama where we are currently stationed, acting as the primary care provider for an area of about 500 square miles of mountains and mangrove islands.

It has performed in more than 600 mobile medical clinics, and we are approaching our 1,000th ultrasound since we set sail. In over 8,000 miles of travel in small open boats when we run mobile medical clinics to remote communities, we have used our Sonosite to [help us] diagnose worms (really), kidney stones, pelvic inflammatory disease, gall bladder disease, ovarian cysts, uterine fibromas (so many in Haiti!), bladder stones, heart defects, bicornate uterus, and liver disease, and to conduct breast lump and testicular ultrasounds. [We] used it on many occasions as part of emergency response (free fluid or air in the abdomen, sudden ascites due to heart failure in a young Ngabe indigenous woman who had had rheumatic fever) or to guide surgical procedures. And of course, the pre-natal ultrasounds – hundreds of them; many times it is their 6th or 7th child (or 10th) but the first time they have ever had an ultrasound.

Our Sonosite has been a champion. I even used it today on a young indigenous woman to check her 6-month pregnancy; her young husband and she got to see its heart beating, its hands opening and closing, and that their baby looked very healthy overall. My favorite kind of ultrasound – when I get to tell a woman her baby looks very healthy, and she gets to see it for the first time ever.

I always dreamed of being a doctor who, when someone was sick, would pick up his black bag and go to a patient's home and bring care to their bedside. My Sonosite lets me bring advanced imaging to a patient's bedside, even if they live at the top of a jungle-covered mountain or across an ocean.

Sonosite gets two thumbs up from us; VERY few pieces of equipment have survived and been indispensable to our mission. I recommend their gear without hesitation.

I am including the video of an emergency ultrasound we did on a pregnant lady who tumbled down a muddy hill.

Thanks, Sonosite, for making awesome products!


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