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HCH to get 2 more ventilators

HCH to get 2 more ventilators HCH to get 2 more ventilators
Kaitlyn Clay, Staff Writer, [email protected]

The Harrison County Hospital Board of Trustees met Thursday afternoon and approved the purchase of two new ventilators for the hospital. The hospital has been fluctuating around maximum patient capacity recently during the surge of COVID-19 cases in surrounding areas, and the purchase of these two new units is one solution to the ongoing battle.

After receiving these two ventilators, the hospital will have seven total.

During the meeting, conducted virtually, it was explained that COVID patients who are placed on ventilators can oscillate between three different modalities offered by the machines. These specific ventilators, the NKV-550 Series made by Nihon Kohden, are versatile in that they can switch between these three options.

With this style of ventilators — which are the same style as the two purchased in early spring — patients will be able to stay with the same unit and health care providers will be able to change the programming without having to switch machines.

“There was a time in early spring when we only had one or two ventilators left and there was nowhere to rent them, but with the purchase of these two I feel comfortable that we will be in good shape,” Harrison County Hospital CEO Steve Taylor said.

In other business at the meeting, Taylor proposed the board increase the bonus employees would see for their efforts this year, especially with dealing with the ongoing pandemic.

At the November meeting, the board approved about $110,000, but Taylor suggested they modify that number to a range between $275,000 and $300,000.

“Since we approved the first amount in mid-November, a lot has happened,” Taylor said. “The surge is much bigger than we originally thought it would be, and our staff are being pushed to the Nth degree to take care of patients.

“We went from having minimal employees contract the virus to now where we are seeing many more having to quarantine because of exposure,” he said. “With all that being said, it requires much more work by our other staff members when people are gone and times are more difficult than we projected when this all started. I think it is only a small way to show them our appreciation for keeping our community safe.”

All board members immediately echoed his sentiments, thanking Taylor for this suggestion that was brought to them, and praising the staff for going above and beyond in the work they have done and continue to do to ensure the safety of Harrison County. The motion to increase the bonus passed unanimously.

Taylor also noted two new ambulances, a purchase which was approved by the county recently, have been ordered.