LOVELAND, Colorado (CBS4) – With the COVID-19 Delta variant spreading across the country, UCHealth in Northern Colorado is partnering with the renowned University of Colorado Animal Hospital to make sure anyone who needs medical attention at a local hospital can get it. CSU has provided its animal ventilator to UCHealth to ensure the hospital has all the necessary tools for any potential increase in COVID cases in the near future.
As of Saturday morning, the Larimer County Health Department said all intensive care beds in the county were full. Sheriff Justin Smith on Facebook called the surge in COVID-19 cases “cause for concern,” and urged people to get vaccinated…
Marilyn Schaefer, director of respiratory therapy for the northern region of UCHealth, told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas that most UCHealth hospitals in northern Colorado are full or nearly full with patients battling COVID-19. Schaefer said the partnership with CSU keeps the healthcare system one step ahead in their battle.
“All of our state hospitals and our system are seeing a huge increase in the number of patients passing through our doors every day,” Schaefer said. “In our ICUs, we are in a state where we never had to duplicate them by putting two people in an ICU. But since the opportunities are so great now, this is what we have to do. “
Schaefer said UCHealth has enough ventilators on hand to ensure proper care for patients in the ICU. By renting ventilators from third parties such as CSU, the hospital is further preparing to receive more potential patients.
“With the large number of patients we see in our community, we need to reach out to our community members and clinics for additional ventilators to make sure we can take care of the most severe patients passing through our doors,” Schaefer said. …
Kelly Hall of CSU, an associate professor of intensive care services, said this is the third time that UCHealth and the university have teamed up to provide a temporary ventilator.
“We are shipping one of our ventilators to UCHealth that we use for patients with dogs and cats,” Hall said. “It is very important for us to be able to offer the devices that help human health that we use to treat animal patients.”
The ventilator is not specifically designed for animals and is used by many hospitals around the world. CSU said they were able to borrow their UCHealth ventilator without jeopardizing their business or services to the community as they have other ventilators specifically designed for animals.
Both Hall and Schaefer expressed the hope that the second ventilator will be provided for the last time. But with the rise in cases across the region, both organizations wanted to make sure the tool was available.
“We all really hoped that we were on the decline in the spread of the virus and that we would be able to return everything to normal. But, as it turned out, our numbers have increased significantly. Our positivity rates have really started to move in a direction of concern to the medical community, ”Schaefer said. “This is one of the tools that we hope will save several lives, educate some people and help make a difference.”
One UCHealth doctor in Boulder County said every patient battling COVID-19 at her hospital has not been vaccinated. Sheriff Justin Smith has joined health experts in urging people to get vaccinated to not only protect themselves but also reduce the burden on the hospital system.