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Kootenay Lake Hospital adds transport ventilator

Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson has acquired a second T1 transport ventilator to its emergency room thanks to a $40,000 donation from the TV Vets Charitable Foundation.

“It’s used for patients having trouble breathing or unable to breathe on their own,” explains Kootenay Lake Hospital Foundation executive director Bryna Idler.

“It breathes for them. The ventilator helps medical staff manage the patient’s airways until a transport team arrives to move the patient to a higher level of care. Sometimes in this area that can take a long time. It’s important to have this piece of equipment to keep the patient stable until they’re able to be moved.”

Idler says the ventilator is a twin to another one TB Vets purchased for the hospital in 2019.

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“They are very generous with all of the foundations in Interior Health and all over BC,” she says. “Anything to do with breathing.”

The ventilator has arrived and is now being used by respiratory therapists and staff in the emergency room, who are happy to have two identical machines so there is no learning curve to clear.

They’re used for patients of all ages and are the same ones used at hospitals in Trail and Kelowna, so “it’s seamless from one facility to another.”

Here in Nelson we are in a geographically challenging position when it comes to transferring patients requiring higher levels of care,” respiratory therapist Mitch Wilkey said in a news release. 

“Our team at KLH has to be prepared to safely manage patients on a ventilator while waiting for a transport team to arrive. Transport can often be delayed because of weather.

“The ease of using such an advanced piece of medical equipment empowers our staff to work alongside our respiratory therapists to offer great patient care in our small but mighty emergency department,” nursing manager Tav Horkoff adds.

TB Vets CEO Kandys Merola says that while life is slowly getting back to normal in the wake of the pandemic, many hospitals still have to treat COVID-19 patients, straining the health care system.

“It is essential that we help hospitals buy new equipment that will support our province’s medical frontline heroes during the pandemic and beyond,” Merola says.

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