Bermuda Hospital Board (BHB) has started up its new oxygen generator that will double the oxygen capacity of its hospital, as the island prepares for a second surge of coronavirus patients.

BHB has thanked the Bermuda Hospitals Charitable Foundation for donating $1m needed for the equipment.

The oxygenator arrived on island at the end of July and following installation, BHB Facilities staff have been trained in its use and basic maintenance. The equipment takes in air and condenses the oxygen from the air supply into a filling station.

From there it can supply critical care or acute care beds in both the Acute Care Wing and General Wing of KEMH, or fill oxygen tanks.

Chief Executive Officer of BHB Dr Michael Richmond said: “We are very grateful for this generous donation. There is no cure for COVID-19 and people hospitalised with this virus frequently need oxygen treatment, including ventilators and high flow oxygen treatments.”

“We hope Bermuda does not experience a second surge in cases, but if we do, this equipment will help us save lives. We have the ability to expand the number of critical care and acute care beds, we have ventilators and other oxygen supplying equipment – and the oxygenator ensures we have the oxygen.”

“Some hospitals overseas have run out of onsite oxygen due to the needs of COVID-19 patients. As Bermuda’s only hospital, with no other oxygen supplier on island, we could not afford for that to happen. The benefit beyond COVID-19 is that the island now has two pieces of equipment supplying oxygen, which adds redundancy into the system for our more routine treatments.”

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Source: Bermuda Hospital Board