April 10, 2020

Hand Surgeons Purchase Transport Ventilators to Help Fight COVID-19 Pandemic

Health care workers across the U.S. have risen to the occasion in combating the coronavirus pandemic as hospitals are being faced with the challenge of responding to the potential shortage of masks and other protective materials, as well as ensuring they are equipped with enough respiratory care equipment to support the potential demand.

At UAMS, we can breathe a easier knowing that more ventilators are on the way, courtesy of our orthopaedic hand and upper extremity surgery team, who provided almost $25,000 of funding to purchase the equipment to meet the needs of patients at UAMS who develop respiratory compromise from COVID-19 or other respiratory disorders.

The funding support, which is generated through the work the team provides as part of the UAMS Hand Trauma Telemedicine program, has been used to support educational and research initiatives for students, residents, and faculty to advance the field of hand surgery in Arkansas. But this year, the group of fellowship-trained orthopaedic hand surgeons decided to use the funds to fulfill the critical need for transport ventilators amid the coronavirus crisis.

“We are thrilled to be able to purchase these transport ventilators and know that our money will help patients now and for years to come”, said Theresa Wyrick, M.D, associate professor and orthopaedic hand and upper extremity surgeon in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UAMS.

Ventilators provide respiratory support for patients who cannot breathe on their own or who require assistance maintaining adequate ventilation. Transport ventilators, which are designed to take the place of manual ventilation or “bagging” during an emergency or transport situations, are also used as an alternative device capable of providing prolonged ventilation in a medical facility setting if the number of conventional ventilators is running low.

Thank you Hand Surgery Heroes!