The Flying Eye Hospital reinstates my hope in humanity

The human mind has been guilty of cooking up some audacious ideas in its lifetime: some that have worked and some that haven’t quite worked. The one commonality between these ideas is that they were. Ideas unite, separate, build, and destroy. Simply put, they’re tools.

Like any other tool at our disposal, only their use impacts the world in whatever way the idea will. So what brilliant idea do we have today?

A flying ophthalmic hospital.

Someone somewhere had the brilliant idea to take an airplane, stuff it with state-of-the-art medical equipment and a classroom, and fly around the world to perform eye-exams and operations to lesser-fortunate countries. Someone was able to raise the funds to fly a Douglas DC-10. Stuff it with high-tech medical equipment, and fly around the world healing others. 


FedEx just donated a brand(er) spanking(er) new(er) DC-10 to Orbis for them to convert it into the next generation Flying Eye Hospital.

From the Orbis website:

The next generation Flying Eye Hospital will be an ideal marriage of aviation and medical technology. Housing medical and surgical infrastructure, its hospital suite will comprise nine customized modules similar to commercial cargo containers. On a technical basis alone, our pioneering module approach will save money, time and resources.


A Peek Inside

On the outside, the Orbis plane looks almost like any other aircraft. Everything changes on the inside, though. The FEH is equipped with

  • A 48-seat classroom to educate local doctors, nurses, and caretakers. The classroom also has streaming capabilities to stream operations and lectures to offsite locations.
  • An A/V room that controls the 17 cameras, 8 microphones and 54 video displays aboard to help in the streaming and video recording of operations.
  • A laser operations room for actually doing actual operations on actual people with their actual eyesight at stake.
  • An operating room with cameras to allow for recording for educational purposes.
  • A sub-sterile room used to sterilize surgical instruments as well as for medical staff to wash their hands before and after operations.
  • A recovery room to prepare the patients and to let them recover after their operations.

No limit to the human imagination

This is an airplane used as a teaching hospital for eye surgery and moreover a reality. Your excuses have just been invalidated.


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