When CentraCare asks for ventilators during a pandemic, there's no other response than "yes."
SCTCC had received two ventilators from CentraCare to use in the Nursing and Paramedicine programs, where students used them on mannequins to learn how to use them on patients when out in the field.
Ventilators are used by inserting a tube through the mouth or nose to go down the windpipe in a process known as intubation. The ventilator then blows air into patients' lungs and oxygen if needed. A ventilator can do some or all of the breathing for a patient, and since it can deliver higher oxygen levels, it's better than a mask or other devices. It also gives positive end expiratory pressure (PEEP) to help hold open the lungs so the air sacs don't collapse.
In the US, 21-31% of COVID-19 patients have needed hospitalization and 5-11% intensive care. Officials don't know the number of patients that have needed to be put on a ventilator.
Last week, SCTCC sent its two ventilators to CentraCare to increase the number of ventilators available for COVID-19 patients. Currently, students in the programs that use them aren't meeting face-to-face, so they weren't being used.
SCTCC is also putting together an inventory of all the N95 masks on campus, which will then be submitted to the Minnesota State system office. The college is still waiting for guidance on where best to donate the masks.