May 2020 Machias – Dr. Gayle Kraus, Professor of Marine Ecology at UMM, recently donated $6,200 to Down East Community Hospital to purchase two high flow oxygen nasal cannula units in memory of her Mother, Muriel L. Kraus.

President and CEO of Down East Community Hospital, Steve Lail, “These systems will be extremely beneficial for patients requiring respiratory assistance.   Dr. Kraus’ generosity to this hospital and the community is remarkable and we are forever grateful.  Our staff and the residents of Washington County will benefit from these high flow oxygen systems for years to come.”

High flow oxygen (HFO) therapy is a form of respiratory support used in a hospital setting where oxygen is delivered to a patient at rates of flow higher than that delivered traditionally in oxygen therapy.   High-flow oxygen therapy allows the clinician to provide accurate oxygen delivery in a wide array of patient populations and treatment arenas. It is intervention therapy for treating patients with mild to moderate hypoxemia (an abnormally low concentration of oxygen in the blood). The utilization of HFO therapy in appropriate patients can improve oxygenation and can decrease the patient’s labor to breath without the need for noninvasive or invasive ventilation. In addition, it may reduce the duration of ICU stay in some patients.

The warm, humidified constant flow improves gas exchange and is commonly used on patients with acute respiratory failure. It has been used to successfully treat patients with COVID-19, COPD, and bronchiectasis.  Using humidified (warmed) gas keeps mucus more fluid and aids airway recovery and results in less labored breathing and shortness of breath.

“These high flow oxygen systems will be extremely helpful for patients requiring respiratory assistance.  These units will help so many people during these high-risk seasons and beyond. They are something that will be used by our Respiratory Therapy Technicians, the Emergency Department and our anesthesiologist for a long time to come.” Emergency Department Director, Carrie Cassidy, BSN, RN, CEN.

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