Un avión hospital para capacitar a oftalmólogos y tratar enfermedades de los ojos

Decenas de doctores y enfermeras de distintas nacionalidades forman parte de la tripulación del “Flying Eye” (Ojo Volador), el único avión hospital del mundo donde se realizan cirugías oftalmológicas y se enseñan los últimos tratamientos médicos en esta especialidad.

Parqueado en el aeropuerto de Santiago, a simple vista, nada diferencia a este hospital aéreo de una aeronave comercial. Pero al entrar, uno se encuentra en uno de los más modernos centros médicos del planeta, que pasa el 80% del año capacitando a oftalmólogos de todas partes del mundo.

Gracias al acuerdo entre la Universidad Católica de Chile y de la ONG estadounidense Orbis –propietaria de la aeronave-, este hospital con alas llegó a Chile para capacitar a estudiantes de oftalmología chilenos, bolivianos y peruanos, quienes aquí tienen la oportunidad de aprender las últimas tecnologías.

Veintiocho oftalmólogos, anestesiólogos, enfermeras y arsenaleras (ayudantes) de 15 países forman parte de la tripulación de este particular avión, donde también se realizan operaciones gratuitas de cataratas, glaucoma o problemas de retina producto de la diabetes.

“Mi hospital cambia de paisaje cada tres o cuatro meses y cambia de pacientes. Tenemos en un viaje pacientes de Camerún, en otro viaje, de Mongolia. Los participantes (residentes) hablan distintos idiomas; cambia el clima, cambian las enfermedades”, relata a la AFP Andreas Di Luciano, un oftalmólogo chileno de 31 años, a cargo del área de simulación y entrenamiento quirúrgico.

Vestido con un elegante traje azul como el de un piloto de avión, Di Luciano tiene a su cargo a los cerca de 50 residentes que durante dos semanas realizarán prácticas en el avión y quienes al final del curso recibirán un certificado que avala su participación.

En Chile no realizarán operaciones pero en su paso por Perú en abril del año pasado, se practicaron cerca de un centenar de intervenciones gratuitas.

El primer avión de Orbis alzó vuelo en 1982 –con un viaje de Houston a Panamá-. Desde entonces, han cambiado dos veces de aeronave. En 2016, comenzó a utilizarse el actual DC10, donado por la empresa de envíos Fedex.

Todos los equipos en su interior también fueron donados a Orbis, una ONG que reúne hoy a unos 400 profesionales de la medicina oftalmológica voluntarios de más de 30 países, que comparten sus habilidades para intentar solucionar uno de los mayores problemas de la salud ocular en el mundo: la falta de médicos especialistas, sobre todo en los países en desarrollo.

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