OPTI Medical Analyzers Shine During Dark Times in Libya

ROSWELL, Georgia, December 18, 2011—The dawn of 2011 saw the spread of social and political unrest and violence eastward from Tunisia, through North Africa and into the Arabian Peninsula and the greater Middle East.

In February, Libya became caught up in a violent national struggle that would last until October and claim many lives.

The cities of Benghazi and Misurata, considered two of Libya’s principle economic hubs, were focal points in the fighting between rebel and loyalist forces. While Benghazi was the scene of initial antigovernment protests—resulting in numerous civilian casualties—Misurata was the scene of heavy fighting and spent 70 days under siege, during 40 of which citizens were completely cut off from a water supply.

As expected, the hospitals in Benghazi and Misurata were overwhelmed. Chronic lack of basic medicine was reported, and in many cases, pleas for additional assistance fell on deaf ears.

As dire as the situation was, some good news did come out of the hospitals regarding the performance of OPTI Medical analyzers. According to Ala Al Haymouni, our distributor in Libya and neighboring Jordan, OPTI® analyzers were the most reliable equipment in al Jalaa Hospital in Benghazi and Misurata Central Hospital in Misurata.

Many lives were saved as a result.

“The reliability of OPTI equipment, in particular the CCA models, was crucial; from March until the present, hospital staff has deferred to OPTI medical equipment over other brands because of its durability and reliability,” adds Al Haymouni.

We learned that one of our OPTI® CCA Blood Gas and Electrolyte Analyzers was used in the 12-bed ICU in the Benghazi Hospital, where injured civilians and rebels soldiers were treated during the conflict. According to Al Haymouni, “The machines were very useful because they alone, among all other hospital analyzers, worked nonstop. This helped save many lives.”

The maintenance-free aspect of OPTI analyzers can be important for their use in potential conflict zones because it’s not always possible to get a trained repair technician and a supply of spare parts. Al Haymouni adamantly points out, “Because the machine is so low maintenance, and can even function without a power supply, it should be recommended for use in conflict zones.”

OPTI Medical Systems is pleased to have played a crucial role in aiding the victims of a major humanitarian crisis in Libya.