Dr. Jason Huikko of Stevens Community Medical Center. (Photo: Marshall Hoffman)

With ventilator breathing machines getting a lot of focus during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Jason Huikko of Stevens Community Medical Center told the KMRS Community Connection that there are a limited number of vents in the Morris facility.

“Being a small critical access hospital, we don’t have a large number of vents here,” said Huikko. “We will, if at all possible, transfer patients that need ventilators to a larger facility that is more equipped to handle those types of patients. But if all those larger facilities do become saturated, we do have some ventilator support available here. And all of our physicians are updating their skills on vents and prepared to treat these patients that are critically ill if the time comes that we need to.”

Huikko said there are two vents in the Intensive Care Unit and another two in the surgical area, so SCMC could ramp up to four vents if needed. Which is why a virus outbreak in a nursing home facility, for example, could overwhelm a small town’s medical facility.

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