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Pawnee Valley Community Hospital receives new ventilators
From left to right, Dusty Thacker, Chantell Richmeier, Mackenzie Macmahon and Wayne Wilcox display one of the new ventilators at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital.

Patients at Pawnee Valley Community Hospital (PVCH) now have access to additional life-saving equipment, thanks to a collaboration with two state agencies.

PVCH has received two new ventilators, which brings the total to five.

“We just completed the training on the new equipment,” said Dusty Thacker, director of Cardiopulmonary Services and Emergency Management. “While we hope to never need all the ventilators at once, this helps us be prepared to give the best care available during an emergency.”

A ventilator is a device that helps people breathe when they have difficulty doing so on their own. It supplies a controlled flow and volume of air into the lungs, supporting the respiratory system in cases of severe illness.

Circumstances in which a ventilator is used include severe respiratory infections, pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

The Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) and Kansas Division of Emergency Management (KDEM) donated the equipment to PVCH.

“KDEM previously purchased the ventilators during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Thacker noted. “But recently, they accepted requests from hospitals that want to keep the ventilators on hand instead of having to ask for them on an as-needed basis.

“We appreciate these state agencies for allowing us to participate in this great ventilator program.”

It is a comfort to know that PVCH now has additional ventilators, Thacker commented.

“This equipment can be used for any type of Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) that could affect our community,” he explained. “An MCI occurs when emergency resources, such as personnel and equipment, are overwhelmed by the number and severity of casualties.”

Examples include multi-vehicle accidents, natural disasters, and chemical biological and radiological events.

“As a vital resource in our community, PVCH must be prepared for many types of emergencies,” Thacker emphasized. “We continually prepare for any type of MCI that could affect our community.

“Requesting these new ventilators demonstrates our commitment to the community.”

Pawnee Valley Community Hospital, 923 Carroll in Larned, is a 25-bed facility, offering many services not typically available in a smaller facility. Included are 24/7 emergency care; acute, skilled and specialized nursing; surgery; high-tech imaging and laboratory tests; wound care; rehabilitation; and sleep and diagnostic center. PVCH Family Medicine provides the full range of family-medicine services; physician-assisted weight loss; and women’s health services. The hospital’s number is 620-285-3161; the clinic’s number is 620-804-6007.