FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – More lifesaving equipment is now at Hurley Medical Center thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Greater Flint Urgent Relief Fund.
Hurley tells ABC12 they’ve been able to make several machine purchases to deliver high-flow oxygen and a very expensive gas, nitric oxide, which is used to increase airflow for people on ventilators.
These tools have been essential in treating some of the sickest patients during the pandemic.
Hurley Medical Center says they’ve been able to grow their fleet to 30 high-flow oxygen machines now with the help of the grant.
These machines have been essential in enabling patients to breathe without the aid of ventilators.
“With the first wave of covid, we were putting patients on the vents immediately. Then we started introducing a bit more high-flow oxygen and we had great success keeping people off the vent” , said Rick Barker, director. pulmonology, neurology and radiology departments. “It’s kind of a middle ground between routine or regular oxygen – it’s a higher level of care, but not quite the invasive care that a ventilator would be.”
But the hospital says it still uses ventilators in certain situations, and with that money it was also able to buy nitric oxide – which is used on patients who need help the most to fight COVID. .
“So what it does is it widens the blood vessels in the lungs to help air flow more freely through the lungs and oxygenate better,” Barker said. “So we mainly use it on our much higher acuity patients.”
Barker says these tools have contributed to the number of lives his team of respiratory therapists have been able to save.
“You want to give them the right tools to provide good care to our patients, so they can go to the front lines and do their jobs,” Barker said. “With this equipment and the help of the community, we were able to do it.”