Anaesthetic Solutions

Anaesthesia in remote environments is rightly perceived as an area of great challenge, and it is true that it is a frequently high-risk procedure, given that the patients it is performed on in LMIC environments are often medically unfit, and a full preoperative assessment is not possible.

Anaesthesia also suffers from hidden costs, as it requires not just an anaesthetic machine but associated complex and often expensive equipment, including laryngoscopes, equipment for difficult intubation, monitoring, and suction.

But on top of this, LMIC regions bring many other challenges to the operating table. Power supply is often limited and / or intermittent, and piped or cylindered oxygen and other gases are often simply not available.

What are our Anaesthetic Solutions?

At Medical Aid International, we make it perfectly possible to administer reliable anaesthetics in these environments, and carry out surgery safely. Based on many years’ experience, we advise on and provide long-term anaesthetic solutions that are as effective high in the Himalayas or deep in the rural DRC as they are in a major teaching hospital in Dar es Salaam.

How do we do this? By focusing on innovative but robustly simple technologies and approaches that are appropriate first and foremost for LMIC environments. Examples of typical solutions include draw-over, self-contained, and occasionally, in major centres, circle machines.

Anaesthetics for LMICs

Learn more about anaesthetic solutions for the LMIC environment here by watching the videos from our online Biomedical Engineering programme.

The full Biomedical Engineering Course has 70+ Videos and a comprehensive professional tool kit included in the course fee. To find out more about the course, click here.




  • Requires no electricity

  • Can be used for all age groups

  • Can have an external ventilator attached to it

  • Small and portable

  • Generally the lowest-cost option

  • Maintenance-free

Important to know

The drawover system can be easily transported in luggage whilst also being supplied with a trolley to facilitate storage. Supplementary oxygen can be given and the machine can be used on newborns.




  • Equipped with an inbuilt ventilator, like a traditional anaesthetic machine

  • Needs no external gases, thanks to inbuilt oxygen concentrator

  • Can run without mains power for a limited period

Important to know

Self-contained systems are larger than draw-over machines, so there can be freight cost implications. They also require mains electricity the majority of the time, but can be connected to external gas supply if available.


Circle Machine


  • Used in major medical centres globally

  • Works with much lower flow rates of gas, as it recycles the patient's gases

  • More advanced ventilator

Important to know

Needs extensive stocks of soda lime to extract CO2 from patient's gases and requires regular servicing on a yearly basis, unlike other solutions. Also requires CO2 and anaesthetic agent monitoring, making it the most expensive anaesthetic option; rarely suitable for LMIC environments.

Other Solutions


Sterilisation of medical equipment in LMIC environments is a major challenge, particularly in more rural locations because of an absence of affordable, serviceable, easily usable equipment.

Emergency Bag

The Medical Aid Emergency bag assembles the critical equipment needed to respond efficiently in emergency situations, with regard to airway, breathing, circulation, and bone and soft tissue injuries.

Let's work together.

One of the easiest ways we can make budgets go a long way is the sensible use of equipment no longer required in the West. This recycling is very effective. Please do contact us for further details if you think you have equipment of any sort that may help.

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