Animal Hospital Helps Human Hospital in Crisis

DoveLewis lives up to its mission to care for animals and people with a life-saving equipment loan to a Pacific Northwest hospital.

PORTLAND, Ore - With resources in demand at a level surpassing anything in recent memory, medical professionals are looking beyond their usual network for support. DoveLewis Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital has loaned a ventilator to a human hospital in Spokane, Washington, which picked up the machine on Tuesday. 

“They’re at capacity and told us that this one ventilator would help many people,” said Dr. Shana O’Marra, DoveLewis’ Chief Medical Officer and board-certified critical care specialist. “Yes, we’re an animal hospital, but we help people, too, and if we can share our resources to help even more people, we will.”

In addition to the direct loan to the Washington hospital, the Portland-based nonprofit organization responded to a call from the American College of Veterinary Emergency Critical Care to register surplus equipment with the hopes of bolstering the resources of in-need human hospitals in whatever way it can.

But for a high-traffic hospital like DoveLewis which expects to care for 25,000 patients this year, resource-sharing is a balancing act. The organization is complying with the governor’s executive order to make available any surplus personal protective equipment (PPE), but supplies are diminishing. Hospital leadership has organized an internal response committee to develop practices to prolong PPE supplies and implement social distancing policies that still allow the 24/7 team to care for animals in the throes of an emergency.

O’Marra even made the hospital’s first homemade batch of hand sanitizer and shared the recipe on atdove.org, the hospital’s international distance-learning site for veterinary professionals. “We’re getting creative with the resources that we do have and sharing as much information as possible,” said O’Marra. “It’s a scary time, but I’m proud to see people rally together for the sake of their patients—human and animals, alike.”

 

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Tess Payne

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