The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) received an Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenator Machine (ECMO), the only one of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean, donated by the Guardian Group Foundation with funds raised from the 2018 staging of the 'Keep it Alive' 5K Night Runs.

Speaking at the handing over of the equipment, valued at $10 million, which took place at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital on Tuesday, May 7, Medical Chief of Staff at the UHWI Dr Carl Bruce expressed appreciation to the Guardian Group Foundation for the donation. 

He noted that the equipment would increase the hospital's ability to provide world-class care to patients, thereby reducing the need for overseas travel.

“This machine is the first of its kind in the English speaking Caribbean and it will go a far way in improving the level of health care we are able to provide to our patients. We recently had a patient who had to travel by air ambulance to Florida for treatment at a cost of US$3 million which many of our patients could not afford. So, this piece of equipment will give many patients the opportunity for survival,” Dr Bruce was quoted as saying.

At the same time President, Guardian Life Limited, Eric Hosin, said his organisation was very pleased that proceeds from the annual 5K continue to facilitate the purchase of medical equipment for the island's hospitals and to help in saving lives.

“Each year we are pleased to see growth in the number of persons who register for the races, resulting in an increase in funds which are generated to purchase medical equipment, not only for the University Hospital of the West Indies, but also Cornwall, St Ann's Bay and Mandeville Regional Hospitals,” Hosin said.

In addition to the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenator Machine, which provides prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to people whose heart and lungs are not functioning at the required levels, the UHWI also received a minimal access neuroendoscopy system which allows doctors to perform minimally invasive procedures on neurosurgery patients.