Tubing, a control panel, and “hands” to automatically squeeze an airbag, comprise the simple and compact Alberta E-Vent — an invention designed to help healthcare workers better care for patients in respiratory distress. (Photo contributed)

Tubing, a control panel, and “hands” to automatically squeeze an airbag, comprise the simple and compact Alberta E-Vent — an invention designed to help healthcare workers better care for patients in respiratory distress. (Photo contributed)

New resuscitator piloted in central Alberta to help rural COVID-19 patients

Hospitals without ventilators to benefit

A made-in-Alberta, lifesaving device for people in respiratory distress is being piloted in central Alberta.

In late August, Provost Health Centre in Provost — a hospital which does not have a conventional ventilator — received an Alberta E-Vent for short-term respiratory support, monitoring and treatment of adult patients, said Alberta Health Services in a statement.

Without conventional ventilators, staff must manually squeeze an airbag for a patient every six seconds which may be required for several hours.

“Provost asked for our help. They had to manually ventilate an intubated COVID-positive patient awaiting transport for approximately four hours,” said Rena Sorensen, professional practice lead for respiratory therapy in AHS central zone, who has guided rural sites through the purchase of conventional ventilators and training as part of a larger provincial rural ventilation project.

Provost staff received E-Vent training in September.

Provost has two E-Vents, and two were sent to Castor and Drayton Valley as part of the evaluation. Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has one E-Vent as a training unit only.

After the pilot, and once the healthcare team is satisfied with the device, additional E-Vents will be sent to any other rural sites in the central zone that don’t currently have access to a ventilator.

Exergy Solutions, of Calgary, developed the E-Vent and donated 200 of the devices to AHS.

Conventional ventilators often cost upwards of $30,000. At some rural sites, foundations or auxiliaries raise money to buy the machines for their local hospitals, while other sites simply go without and rely on manual bagging, or transport to larger sites.

“This could be a life-sustaining device for rural ER sites,” said Brant Poirier, area director for central zone – south.

“This is compact, simple and requires very little training. As the pandemic is with us for some time yet, we are grateful to have a tool like this in our toolkit.”

Related:

‘This is a heartbreaking figure’ Hinshaw reports Alberta’s highest single-day COVID-19 death toll

Province to expand COVID rapid testing to seniors homes and rural hospitals

Leading up to the E-Vent, an AHS interdisciplinary healthcare team collaborated to identify innovations to manually support bagging for extended periods of time at rural sites without ventilators.

When Exergy first approached AHS with its idea, it led to the creation of a multidisciplinary group called the Ventilator Collaborative, which also brought together clinicians and industry representatives and involved a cross-provincial team of volunteers and collaborators.

Exergy Solutions, a Calgary-based engineering firm with a specialty in design, prototyping and fabricating, is located in the Life Sciences Innovation Hub, operated by Innovate Calgary.

Teams from the University of Calgary, including the Advanced Technical Skills Simulation Laboratory and Schulich School of Engineering, offered support and resources for the mechanical design and testing of the project.

The Provincial Respiratory Equipment Team worked to ensure the new device was cleared for patient use.

“Because the device is new, it had to go through a series of checks with Health Canada. Normally, this process would be lengthier, but there has been a focused effort to move projects such as this along due to the pandemic,” said Roberta Dubois, provincial respiratory practice director who leads the Provincial Respiratory Equipment Team.

Other companies also played pivotal roles in the collaboration, including Logican Technologies and Catch Engineering.

With files from Alberta Health Services



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

NDP MP Heather McPherson pictured in Edmonton on Friday, March 6, 2020. Alberta’s legislature may have been silenced but its partisan warfare has relocated to the House of Commons as MPs hold an emergency debate tonight on the province’s soaring COVID-19 cases. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Kenney under fire during Commons emergency debate on Alberta’s COVID-19 crisis

Edmonton New Democrat MP says Kenney ignored the evidence of science

A General Motors sign in Oshawa, Ont., is photographed on Wednesday, June 20, 2018. General Motors Canada says it will start truck production at its assembly plant in Oshawa, Ont., ahead of schedule. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Tijana Martin
Oshawa assembly plant restart ahead of schedule, GM Canada says

Closure of plant in 2019 was huge blow to Canada’s manufacturing sector

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2019, file photo, a woman walks by the Australian Embassy in Beijing. China on Thursday, May 6, 2021 suspended an economic dialogue with Australia, stepping up a pressure campaign that began over Australian support for a probe into the origins of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
China suspends economic dialogue with Australia

China’s relations with Australia, India and some other neighbours are increasingly strained

An electric car is seen getting charged at parking lot in Tsawwassen, near Vancouver, Friday, April, 6, 2018. Should Canada introduce a national mandate requiring the auto industry make or sell more zero-emission vehicles is a question facing the Liberal government as it’s not on the road to meet its own sales targets. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Should Canada mandate sales targets for electric vehicles? Report says ‘yes’

Parliamentary committee studied how to incentivize the purchase and production of electric vehicles

LtE bug
Letter: Restrictions are a crime against humanity

I was distressed to note the seemingly superficial understanding of the holocaust… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Follow restrictions so pandemic can be behind us

From one who feels that COVID could have been overcome long ago… Continue reading

LtE bug
Letter: Westerner needs help now

I have spent the last few days sifting through many pieces of… Continue reading

Jets beat Flames 4-0 to snap seven-game losing streak and clinch playoff spot

Jets beat Flames 4-0 to snap seven-game losing streak and clinch playoff spot

Most Read