A few days ago U2FP put out a call out to our community to identify unused or previously used ventilators that could be brought back into circulation, given the shortages across the country due to COIVD-19. One of the first responders was Jessical Fredette, a woman living in St. Paul, MN (who happens to be a wonderful photographer) who had 2 ventilators in good working order and no longer needed them. She was willing to donate them provided they could be put to use.
I made some calls to an ER physician, neurosurgeon and finally the Hospital President, Jeff Wicklander of North Memorial Hospital here in the Twin Cities, all to make sure they could be used, and especially that they would be needed.
The answer from all was a resounding yes. In cities where the virus has spiked there is great concern about the number of ventilators available both to treat COVID patients and in the cases of non-COVID emergencies. The ER physician reminded me that teams are exploring the use of 1 ventilator for more than 1 patient, and the MN Dept. of Health explained to me there is a team working on repurposing CPAP machines to assist less critical COVID patients.
I picked them up on Monday and dropped them off at North Memorial Medical Center to Chris Gerlach, North Memorial’s Respiratory Care Manager (pictured) on Tuesday.
Our hope is that seeing the willingness of our community to answer the needs of our healthcare workers and those who may have critical need of their care, will encourage all of you in our SCI Community (and beyond) to join the effort and help us find more ventilators. We’ll have more information up on our website soon.
For now, please share this post, engage your own network, and let’s find more!