Global Health: FUJIFILM Sonosite Donates Ultrasound Systems to Refugee Rescue Organisation

May 23, 2017


FUJIFILM Sonosite has donated two M-Turbo point-of-care ultrasound systems to the non-governmental sea rescue organisation Proactiva Open Arms, based in Badalona, Spain, to support efforts in rescuing refugees.

Proaativa Open Arms specialises in surveillance and rescue missions of refugee-filled boats in the Aegean and Central Mediterranean seas. People fleeing civil war, poverty, and persecution in their own countries have headed for Southern European shores. Boats that break down in the water are abandoned by the operators (usually smugglers) and refugees are left stranded in the middle of the sea.

Emergency doctor Guillermo Cañardo splits his time between working on ambulances and emergency helicopters, and on the three boats operated by Proactiva Open Arms in the Central Mediterranean.

“We pick up around 400 people fleeing from war, prosecution, or poverty in each rescue mission,” explains Dr. Cañardo.

“These people are usually more than two days from land, a hospital or any possible evacuation route, and so we always have a doctor and a nurse on board, plus many of our volunteers have emergency medical training.”

FUJIFILM Sonosite heard about the charity’s efforts and donated two M- Turbo systems for use on the rescue missions.

“It is fantastic to have an ultrasound machine; it is the only diagnostic imaging we have at sea, and works very well for us,” explains Dr. Cañardo. “We use it for abdominal scanning – particularly pregnancies – diagnosing and monitoring pneumonia, and to look at trauma injuries, such as knife and bullet wounds.

“Obviously, we are on a boat where there’s a lot of movement – very similar to working in an ambulance – and the Sonosite systems are well suited to this. They are very robust devices, they don’t take up much space, and they are intuitive and easy to use. Our ultrasound machines are essential, as without them we would be working blind.”


Learn More About our Global Health Programme 

Our Global Health Programme helps clinicians bring portable ultrasound to patients and institutions that don't have access to medical imaging due to social conditions, remote locations, or lack of funds. We've created two programmes for healthcare professionals who want to bring ultrasound to the point of patient care, so learn more about the Sonosite Global Health programme