When a campaign by the Fraser Valley Volleyball Club (FVVC) to raise funds for a new ventilator at Langley Memorial Hospital (LMH) came up short, organizers switched tactics and set a different goal.
As a result, the LMH ER now has a much-needed portable ultrasound scanner, a device that helps treat critically ill COVID-19 patients who require intubation to keep breathing.
FVVC executive director and coach Carol Hofer, a Murrayville resident, said the GoFundMe “FVVC Hospital Ventilator & Masks” campaign had raised just over $2,000 toward a goal of $10,000 goal, but after a few weeks, contributions had stalled.
“We realized it was losing steam,” Hofer commented.
Hofer said when the head of ER at LMH told them a portable ultrasound was “a more urgent need,” several coaches in the FVVC donated their honorariums, which run between $1,000 and $1,500, to help raise $7,000.
Diagnostic ultrasound, also called sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images used in diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions.
In COVID-19 cases involving intubation, an ultrasound scan helps make sure tubes are properly placed.
Hofer said the LMH ER already had a portable ultrasound, but it was too big to allow efficient cleaning.
An online positing by the Langley Hospital Foundation quoted an LMH physician who welcomed the acquistion.
Dr. Richard Hsu said the ER “needed something small and easy to disinfect, and the hand-held ultrasound is perfect. Portable and easy to wipe down.”
In the posting, the foundation said the current intubation suite at LMH was small and couldn’t accommodate the “large, unreliable machine we currently use. “
A smaller unit can easily be sterilized quickly and then used on the next patient, Dr. Hsu added.
Hofer said the GoFundMe campaign for masks and a ventilator will carry on, with the money directed to the hospital foundation as it comes in.
“We’re going to leave it open.”
In the GoFundMe online message, Hofer explained that a former FVVC coach’s husband was an ER doctor who let her know that “they only have eight ventilators in the whole hospital and are at a critical stage for masks to keep their staff safe during this Covid-19 crisis.”
To find out how to continue to help meet the emergency needs of the hospital, visit LMHFoundation.com/COVID.