Back in 2015, the TB Vets Charitable Foundation donated $20,000 to the KBRH Health Foundation in support of a Hamilton T1 Transport Ventilator, which has been used in the Emergency Department and by the High Acuity Response Team. KBRH Respiratory Therapists and HART Team members Jon Marion (centre, left) and Dave Scott (right) were on hand with Lisa Pasin, Director of Development of the KBRH Health Foundation (left), to receive this state of the art equipment. (Submitted photo)

TB Vets launch ‘7 for 7’ fundraiser for B.C. hospitals

Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital is included in the campaign for 7 new ventilators

As B.C. begins to reopen select shops and services in the coming weeks, there is hope that this gloomy pandemic cloud has finally lifted.

Unfortunately, it won’t be business as usual as talk of a potential COVID-19 resurgence is swirling.

That’s why TB Vets, a charitable foundation in B.C., has launched a special fund to support medical centres – including Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital – during these unprecedented times.

The nonprofit is asking for help from British Columbians in the form of donations, to raise $400,000.

As demand and strain continues on the province’s medical system due to the virus, the money will be used to deliver seven ventilators to seven hospitals across B.C.

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(A ventilator provides mechanical ventilation by moving breathable air into and out of the lungs, to deliver breaths to a patient who is physically unable to breathe, or breathing insufficiently.)

“We have served the community by providing respirators to patients and medical community for more than 75 years,” says Kandys Merola, executive director of TB Vets. “During the pandemic, we are reminded of how our work has made a positive impact, and we want to continue our efforts by coming together as a community,” she said.

“With the continued discussion of long-term impacts of COVID-19 in B.C, we want to ensure our medical facilities are prepared to support those most in need with the virus, as well as those with respiratory illnesses.”

While some 80 per cent of COVID-19 cases are considered mild, the virus can cause pneumonia, which interferes with the ability of oxygen to get through the lungs, and into the bloodstream.

About six per cent of COVID-19 cases in Canada have required admission to an ICU (Intensive Care Unit).

An ICU is for the sickest patients, where, if called for, patients are ventilated and monitored around the clock by specialized medical teams.

As the province braces for a possible future surge of coronavirus cases, TB Vets says it realizes the importance of being proactive.

The charity maintains that seven ventilators can help by potentially saving 13,000 people in B.C.

As well, BC Health Minister Adrian Dix said that the demand for ventilators has increased considerably, and there needs to be a proactive plan to manage allocation and demand in hospitals in the coming months.

TB Vets regularly supports numerous provincial medical centres. By donating 20 ventilators a year for the past 75 years, as well as other respiratory equipment, close to 3,000,000 lives have been positively affected.

To make a donation to the ‘7 for 7 fundraising campaign,’ visit the TB Vets website at tbvets.org and click the “Donate Now” button.

About TB Vets

Since 1946, TB Vets has been supporting the front lines of respiratory care in British Columbia.

TB Vets took a holistic approach with their vision of serving disabled and inflicted veterans, giving meaningful employment while providing a community service to British Columbians through the creation of the Key Tag Program.

Over time as donations from the key tags grew, veterans reached further out into the community, and began supporting research, education and support programs for respiratory health.

Today, TB Vets’ mission proves to be more relevant than ever. With the loyal support of donors, the organization continues to arm B.C.’s frontline medical professionals while their TB Vets Key Tag Program has returned over 510,000 lost keys to rightful owners.



newsroom@trailtimes.ca

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