Week 2: Mt. Meru

This weekend was a really great weekend.

On Friday, we went to Mt. Meru Hospital to get some more experience fixing medical equipment. We were going to see if we could get the oxygen concentrator to work again. After taking apart the machine, we realized two things. First, the oxygen concentration was very low, and even more importantly the pressure that was coming out was trivial. After checking for leaks and power problems, we went back to the motor. Unfortunately, in the process of checking for its function, we broke it. The piston hit one of the edges breaking it off. The motor was beyond repair, so we had to strip it for parts. I had to say this machine became very frustrating to work with mainly because I didn’t have sufficient resources to fix it. Moreover, collectively, our team of 5 didn’t know enough about motors to fix it. In retrospect, it was lucky that our motor broke because we would have spent the entire day trying to get it to work, a task that was eventually doomed to fail. Plus, if it’s already broken, we didn’t change anything if it doesn’t work any more.



After disposing of the machine, I worked on a thermometer. In a time, where a pick-me-up was really needed, I fixed my first piece of equipment. The nurse told me that the thermometer was always on and it never went above or below 36.5º C (about 97.7º F). I looked at it for about 30 seconds, turned it over, and tested it to see if what the nurses said was true. It wasn’t. I started laughing when I figured out the problem. The nurses had forgotten to take off the plastic that covered the display. The plastic had 36.5 printed on it, which is why it was always “on,” and never went above or below 36.5. I pulled it off, and it worked perfectly!  Lol. Sometimes there is an operator error, and we have to teach the nurses how to use devices.

I also started working on a microscope with Tyler and Jennie. We figured out that the light bulb had a weak connection, but we came to an impasse. None of our fixes would make the microscope sustainable, but we realized that the nurses or doctors would never be able to replace the light bulb anyway, so we were going to create a “temporary” fix next week.


One more post about the weekend! Hopefully tomorrow!

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