The Prince County Hospital Foundation is running a campaign in order to make emergency equipment purchases to have on hand during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The foundation is purchasing several pieces of equipment the Summerside, P.E.I., hospital needs to treat patients that may come in with COVID-19. This includes a glidescope, which is used during intubations, feeding pumps and a BiPAP, a machine that pushes air into a patient’s lungs.
“We’re able to order the pieces ahead and then to fund them so that we can get them here as soon as possible,” said Bevan Woodacre, communications manager with the Prince County Hospital Foundation.
“The glidescope was ordered a couple weeks back so it should be here quite soon. I’m not sure on the other pieces, but they’ll be ordered as soon as possible.”
The province has not yet had any hospitalizations due to COVID-19, though the province’s recently released modelling numbers suggested that P.E.I. could see 120 hospitalizations by June even with strict restrictions.
PCH essential to provincial pandemic plan
In the event of a surge in hospitalizations, Health PEI has said that its plan is to send all COVID-19 patients to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Charlottetown until it reaches capacity, and then start filling the Prince County Hospital.
Earlier this month, Health PEI’s chief of nursing Marion Dowling said she’s feeling confident in the preparedness of the medical system, and that both hospitals have been able to achieve a 50 per cent capacity rate in anticipation of a possible influx of patients.
When the pandemic first began, Dowling had said the capacity was at 100 per cent and Health PEI was aiming for 75 per cent.
Woodacre said there’s been an outpouring of support from those in the community who want to help the hospital during this time.
“This is an emergency purchase so it’s a little out of the ordinary, we would normally be doing a spring campaign right now for about a million and a half dollars that’s been put on hold until things settle down a bit with COVID-19,” he said.
“It’s a little different for us. We would normally do letters and that sort of thing but we’re raising it all online and by phone right now.”
Woodacre said the $50,000 is for pieces that are needed in addition to what would normally be needed and is very specific to the pandemic.
“It’s paramount each time the hospital needs equipment to make sure that it’s vibrant and viable and able to treat the patients when they need it the most,” he said.
“Having these tools on hand for our essential workers is absolutely essential.”
The foundation said it is about halfway to their $50,000 fundraising goal.