Most of the time TB Vets receives requests from major hospitals to purchase ventilators or other expensive respiratory equipment. But clinics and hospitals in remote, rural communities also need help, and a seemingly less complex machine can make all the difference in a community.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, TB Vets was able to provide two oxygen concentrators to the community clinic on Mayne Island, one of the Southern Gulf Islands, midway between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Just over a thousand people call the island their home, and the population consists of 65% seniors, many of whom suffer from respiratory conditions.
L: Mayne Island Health Centre Association Board Member Cathy Purss demonstrating the oxygen concentrator to TB Vets Legacy Giving Officer Anna du Bois; R: A close-up of the respiratory machine funded by TB Vets donors
Why the need for oxygen concentrators is great
Mayne Island Health Centre has a few oxygen tanks, but they only last seven hours, and there were concerns that patient care might not be adequate during the pandemic or in case of a natural disaster. COVID-19 patients often require supplemental oxygen, but if Victoria hospitals were overwhelmed, Mayne Island patients would not be evacuated, and would need respiratory care right on the island for an indefinite period of time. Additionally, in the event of a major natural disaster, like an earthquake, the Provincial Emergency Program requires islands to be self-sufficient for at least two weeks without off-island support.
An oxygen concentrator is a machine that pulls in the air and filters out the nitrogen. A thin tube runs from the device to the patient’s face, providing purified oxygen through two open prongs below the nostrils. The oxygen concentrator requires only a plug-in wall outlet to provide supplemental oxygen. Because the concentrators don’t need to be refilled, and can work continuously, patients in respiratory distress can be given supplemental oxygen without concern that the existing tank will run empty.
With the purchase of this respiratory equipment, the Mayne Island clinic can now provide better day-to-day care to island residents, and deal with any potential emergency situation, whether it’s the pandemic or a natural disaster. A small gift has made a huge difference to this community.*
*Topmost Photo: Nurse Practitioner Leanne Rowand, Dr. Juliana Losier, TB Vets Legacy Giving Officer Anna du Bois, MIHCA Board Member Cathy Purss and MIHCA Board Chair Lindsay Allan