Nationwide Ventilator Inventory Underway
August 19, 2009
Dallas, TX—An inventory of all ventilators in the country is underway, as our nation braces for a season that may see more serious cases of the flu than usual.
Respiratory therapists will play a key role in the H1N1 pandemic that may hit the U.S. heavily this fall. Early indicators show that many patients who contract the H1N1 virus require mechanical ventilation. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has asked the AARC to help inventory all ventilators in our nation’s hospitals.“Our government has placed its trust in the AARC as the one organization with the membership and expertise to accomplish this mission,” said Tim Myers, AARC President. “We have sent a letter to every hospital-based respiratory care department manager in the country asking for help with this project.”
The project is targeted to be completed for HHS by September 10.
“The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response within the United States Department of Health and Human Services is requesting your assistance to assess the total quantities and types of mechanical ventilators at U.S. hospitals.” said Nicole Lurie, MD, Assistant Secretary, in a letter to the AARC. “We require additional clarity regarding types and quantities of devices at U.S. hospitals.”
A website has been set up where respiratory care department managers will enter their full inventory of ventilators. A toll-free number is also operational and those completing surveys can call for more information.
“One survey per facility should be completed,” said Tim Buckley, AARC project coordinator. “We ask AARC members to work with their department managers to bring the project to their attention. And we ask the department managers to coordinate one response from their hospital.” The AARC is looking for a high response rate to the survey and for all surveys to be complete by September 10.