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"Where there are no electrodes" wins the AFEM Resource Innovation Competition

30 Apr 2015

Emmanuel Kwasi Acheampong of Ghana was the winner of AFEM's recent Resource Innovation Competition at the WCDEM/EMSSA2015 conference in Cape Town. His entry, "Where there are no electrodes" details how to use moist cotton balls as alternatives to expensive disposable electrodes when placing patients on monitors: 

"In resource limited settings like Ghana, it is very expensive to replenish disposable electrodes and it is quite common to run out of electrodes in the ED... you can use cotton swabs as a replacement for electrodes. 

1. Get three moderate size cotton swabs and make slightly moist.
2. Place the cotton swabs in position as you would electrodes for a monitor. 
3. Attach the probes of the monitor to the swabs and tape over the probe and swab to secure. 
4. Turn on the monitor and inspect the ECG tracings."

Congratulations Emmanuel!

South Africa

South AfricaSouth Africa

EMSSA represents a group of enthusiastic healthcare professionals dedicated to the development of quality emergency care throughout South Africa. Emergency Medicine has only recently been recognized as an independent speciality, although this country has always had a large burden of patients presenting to our pre-hospital and hospital emergency services with experienced and passionate personnel rendering much needed care.



The Emergency Medicine Association of Tanzania (EMAT) was formed in May 2010  by doctors and nurses with active involvement in emergency care in Tanzania. The President is Dr Hendry Robert Sawe, of Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences(MUHAS)-Dar es salaam. The objective of EMAT is to Pioneer, promote and advocate for dissemination of emergency care in Tanzania, through Teaching, research and education of emergency care.



The Botswana Society for Emergency Care (BSEC) held it's foundational meeting in November 2010, and was officially registered as a society in Botswana in September 2011. BSEC's mission is to promote advocate for emergency care in Botswana through teaching, research, and education. BSEC liases with partners from EMSSA and AFEM, and supports the emergency medicine post-graduate training program at the University of Botswana School of Medicine. Since it's inception, BSEC has hosted seminars on emergency triage, pre-hospital care, and acute care needs in Botswana.



The Ethiopian Society of Emergency Medical Professionals was formed in 2012. The President is Dr Sisay Teklu, of Addis Ababa University. The objective of ESEP is to assist in development of hospital and Pre-Hospital emergency care.



LEMA will encourage and promote professional excellence, advance the science and practice of emergency medicine, and serve as an advocate for patients, their families, the public, the profession and the ER physicians. It will offer to the interdisciplinary team the necessary tools for the interaction with the critically ill patient and their families from a holistic perspective.



SEMPON held their inaugural scientific conference in September 2014, themed: "The State of Emergency Care in Nigeria: the Way Forward". The objective of the organisation is to evaluate the state of emergency care in Nigeria, and engineer cooperation and partnership among key stakeholders.



The president of the Egyptian Society for Emergency Medicine is Dr. Hussein Sabri. It was formed in 2012, and is dedicated to improving patient care by advancing the science and practice of emergency medicine. It is an interdisciplinary organisation whose members are involved in the provision of emergency care.