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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Sun powers 'hospital-in-a-box'
The "hospital-in-a-box"
Two surgeons can work in the "pop-up" theatre at the same time
A 25,000 solar-powered portable operating theatre which can be set up within 10 minutes has been unveiled by its Kent inventor.

The "hospital-in-a-box" can also run on pedal power and be used in developing countries and disaster zones.

The CompactOR operating theatre was invented by Alexander Bushell, 45, who is a design engineer from Medway.

"I got the idea... travelling around Kenya and seeing how people lived there," he said.

There is space for two surgeons at a time in the portable theatre, which can be flown into disaster zones by helicopter.

It contains all the equipment found in a normal operating theatre, including a defibrillator, ECG monitoring, suction, an anaesthetic machine, and surgical lighting.

Award-winning invention

Doctors have flown out to Africa to drum up support for the award-winning invention, where it is due to be launched on 6 December.

Mr Bushell, from Sittingbourne-based Global Medical Systems, created the "pop-up" operating theatre with his partner Dr Seyi Oyesola.

He claims it is the first of its kind in the world.

"Originally I'd spent a lot of time in Kenya and obviously in some of the small rural villages they have absolutely nothing at all - not even a simple defibrillator.

"On many occasions we found that there were emergencies that could have been quite easily dealt with with just a defibrillator on its own - so that's where I really came up with the idea," he said.

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