Thursday, January 11, 2007

How to: revive a drowned hemoglobinometer

Grace, my secretary, greeted me a morning with a report that a female voice had called saying that "the tin can sunk" before the communication was cut. What could it be? Grace assumed she was one of the nurses working for a Child Survival project in the Amazon Basin of Peru I directed. Later, we learned that a boat -with the pet name "tin can"- transporting the nurses had sunk in shallow water. Nobody was hurt and everything that was on the boat was recovered. However, the portable photometer used to monitor hemoglobin concentrations had also been submerged under water. The nurses put photometer, wet clothes and backpacks to dry under the sun. To their surprise, when everything had dried and they turned the photometer on, it ran like new. This Hemocue photometer continued operating without trouble up to the end of the project. [this blogger does not have any financial relationship with the Hemocue company, nor recommends cleaning photometers of any kind by throwing them into the washing machine]

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