The NC State Veterinary Hospital on Monday provided two ventilators and other vital medical supplies in high demand, including masks, to the UNC School of Medicine and its hospitals, part of the widening fight to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and effectively treat those infected.
The ventilators are suitable for treating patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a condition seen in many COVID-19 patients. The hospital sent 500 personal protective equipment (PPE) suits for those working with infected people or in high-risk environments.
Also offered are 450 N95 masks, particularly effective in blocking airborne particles that can spread COVID-19, as well as 500 surgical masks.
“We must do everything we can as veterinarians to support human medical institutions in this global fight,” said Paul Lunn, dean of the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. “We are fortunate to have equipment to share with our partners on the human health side while still caring for animals in need of our critical care.”
Lunn said veterinary schools across the country are offering similar supplies to human medical facilities to address shortages in equipment and prepare for an uptick of COVID-19.
Since March 15, the NC State Veterinary Hospital has seen only emergency cases. While providing supplies to other medical institutions, the hospital will maintain what’s necessary to treat its own emergency patients effectively and to protect the hospital’s clinical staff.
In the future, Lunn said, the veterinary hospital will be open to providing equipment — and clinician expertise — to other area human health care providers.
The equipment is the same used in both animal and human medicine. There is also a possibility of converting the hospital to support human patients if needed, said Lunn.
For more information on NC State’s coronavirus and resources, go to ncsu.edu/coronavirus.
~Jordan Bartel/NC State Veterinary Medicine