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U.S. blockade hinders Cuban electromedicine

CAMAGUEY, Cuba, Apr 7 (ACN) The shortage of spare parts and essential medical equipment components are the main problems affecting the work of the Provincial Center of Clinical Engineering and Electromedicine of this eastern province as a result of the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.

Bernardo Calderín Pérez, deputy technical director of the institution, told ACN that the 60-year-old U.S. policy prevents the annual general overhaul of the existing technology, a procedure recommended by the manufacturer to replace some parts.

“In this province, the consequences are noticeable in the operation of the anesthesia machines, the artificial kidneys for hemodialysis, and all the laboratory and ultrasound equipment, among others.”

Another example: Acutronic Medical Systems, a company founded in Switzerland, provided the Fabian HFO model pulmonary ventilator for neonatology services, currently available in Gynecobstetric and Pediatric hospitals. When a U.S. company bought Acutronic, we lost the chance to preserve the sustainability of a line of recently incorporated devices, to the detriment of a program as sensitive as the Maternal and Infant Care Program (PAMI).

The lack of supplies needed for the rehabilitation of the clinical furniture of hospitals and health care units, including electrodes for soldering, or tin, essential for the repair of electronic components, stands out as a major problem caused by the U.S. blockade.

The availability of specific tools used by the institution's specialists is another limitation. Such is the case of key measuring instruments at the time of calibrating and troubleshooting medical devices.

The ingenuity and creativity of the Center's workers, members of the National Association of Innovators and Rationalizers (ANIR), have made it possible to find alternatives to extend the useful life of the equipment used in each of the Public Health services in this region and thus reverse the effects of the U.S. blockade.

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