In the early days of the pandemic, Jennifer Gilbert, DO, anesthesiology, Mount Nittany Health, recalls that "planning and responding to the growing number of COVID patients was challenging."
Some COVID patients have difficulty providing their bodies with oxygen or removing carbon dioxide from their lungs. Intubation, which involves inserting a tube into a person's windpipe (trachea), typically through the mouth, is necessary for these patients. A ventilator is then connected to the tube to maintain oxygen levels.
COVID patients requiring emergency intubation receive rapid, specialized treatment from the COVID intubation team. Intubations are performed at the bedside as these critically ill patients cannot be moved to an operating room. Because of the close contact and physical interaction between the breathing tube and the mouth of a patient with COVID, intubation presents a higher risk of virus transmission.
"Before COVID, we traditionally used laryngoscopes to meet our patients' needs. This is especially true since traditional laryngoscopes are ideally suited for surgeries and typical emergency intubations. Standard intubation equipment is not ideal for patients who are positive for COVID or suspected of being positive," shares Dr. Gilbert.
Through the generous donations of our community, Mount Nittany Health purchased a GlideScope® to ensure we were providing the best possible care for our patients. Intubation with this technology provides enhanced physician visibility in the mouth and throat, increases first-pass placement, and enhances provider safety. Moreover, the GlideScope® also allowed our staff to focus on safe, positive outcomes since the COVID intubation team no longer needed to constantly juggle equipment.
"As a physician and on behalf of the patients we serve, I would like to thank all the donors to the Mount Nittany Health Foundation who made purchasing the GlideScope® possible," says Dr. Gilbert. "This purchase was important to keep our staff as safe as possible while providing the best care possible for some of our sickest patients."
"I also want to add my heartfelt thanks to each and every donor who makes a contribution to the Foundation — these gifts are going directly to work advancing patient care," shares Simon Corby, executive director, Mount Nittany Health Foundation.
The purchase of the GlideScope® is the latest in a number of technological advancements Mount Nittany Health Foundation has supported, including the iPack RX Unit Dose Packager and the da Vinci® Surgical System.
The Mount Nittany Health Foundation advances expertise, supports programs, and funds technology improvements supporting our vision of healthier people and stronger communities. You can find out more about how the Mount Nittany Health Foundation invests in the health of people and the strength of communities at foundation.mountnittany.org or by calling 814.234.6777.