Hospital prepares with oxygenator
New medical equipment that doubles the hospital’s oxygen capacity will save lives should Bermuda face a second surge of Covid-19 patients, the hospital’s chief executive said today.
Bermuda Hospitals Board switched on its new oxygenator, and thanked Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation for the $1 million gift that funded its purchase.
The new equipment takes in air and condenses the oxygen from the air supply into a filling station. From there, the BHB said, it can supply critical care or acute care beds in both the acute care wing and general wing of King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, or fill oxygen tanks.
The BHB said its facilities staff has been trained in the use and basic maintenance of the equipment, which arrived on-island at the end of July.
Michael Richmond, chief executive of the BHB, said: “We are very grateful for this generous donation. There is no cure for Covid-19 and people hospitalised with this virus frequently need oxygen treatment, including ventilators and high flow oxygen treatments.
“We hope Bermuda does not experience a second surge in cases, but if we do, this equipment will help us save lives. We have the ability to expand the number of critical care and acute care beds, we have ventilators and other oxygen supplying equipment — and the oxygenator ensures we have the oxygen.
“Some hospitals overseas have run out of on-site oxygen due to the needs of Covid-19 patients. As Bermuda’s only hospital, with no other oxygen supplier on island, we could not afford for that to happen. The benefit beyond Covid-19 is that the island now has two pieces of equipment supplying oxygen, which adds redundancy into the system for our more routine treatments. ”
R. Scott Pearman, deputy chief executive of BHB, added: “BHCF’s donation in April meant we could go ahead and place our order early. This has been absolutely critical.
“We bought the last available piece of equipment from the vendor and reports now indicate a shortage of oxygenators available for purchase globally. If we had not been able to move quickly, we would not be as prepared as we now are.
“We would like to thank the BHCF for the donation, and also the BHB facilities and procurement teams for their work in purchasing and running the new equipment.”
Penny MacIntyre, chair of the BHCF, said: “No one wants to imagine struggling to breathe for any reason. Covid-19 means all of us are at risk and we want the assurances our hospital has what it takes to take care of us.
“Our thanks to BHB and Dr Richmond for identifying the urgent need for the oxygenator. Our ability to act quickly is as a result of the generosity of every individual, family and corporate donor who entrust the Bermuda Hospital Charitable Foundation to make key funding decisions that better our health, safety and wellness now more than ever.
“What a huge relief to know we have the resources to breathe when we need it the most.”
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