“I can’t find the words to show you or say to you how grateful we are. Thank you!”
These are the words that Ron Popa, cardiopulmonary services manager at Sutter Amador Hospital, offers to the donors who funded a new respiratory therapy system, referred to as mask-free NIV (non-invasive ventilation) therapy, at a time when it is needed most.
Months ago, as COVID-19 began to break out in several areas of the country, Ron knew that his department needed to prepare accordingly. He reached out to the Philanthropic Foundation about funding a piece of equipment that could significantly impact patient care.
“We only had one of these devices for the entire hospital. Our physicians started ordering therapy that required [mask-free NIV] on multiple patients and we knew that we needed more devices,” said Ron.
“This device works really well, and it is also one of the first lines of defense against many respiratory distress issues.”
Mask-free NIV therapy is heated, high-flow respiratory support that delivers oxygen and humidity at a precise flow to provide assistance for patients that are having respiratory difficulties. In essence, it is a non-invasive device that helps patients breathe when they are experiencing respiratory distress.
Ron personally attested to the results that mask-free NIV can yield, recalling two particularly powerful instances.
“I once used [this therapy] on a newborn baby that was having a hard time breathing, and within two minutes the baby’s breathing improved,” said Ron. “I also had a patient with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) that was hunched over and gasping for air as they arrived in our ER. The patient was quickly placed on our noninvasive ventilator via a mask. The patient couldn’t handle the mask and kept taking it off. We initiated [mask-free NIV] and the patient quickly improved. They were able to start breathing better because of the pressure the high flow delivery system provides.”
Jody Boetzer, senior development officer at Sutter Amador Hospital Foundation, knew that Ron’s request was an easy decision to approve.
“With donor support, we can purchase additional tools that enhance patient care ,” she said.