Local respiratory provider prepares for high ventilator demand

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SHERMAN, Tex. (KXII) A local breathing equipment provider is prepared to contribute to those in need of their life-saving equipment. Breath of Life in Sherman plans to send some of their machines down to Dallas this week. Until they get requests to send them elsewhere, they're hard at work to get as many ventilators ready to use in case the pandemic takes a turn for the worse

"You know this could get better, this could get worse, we don't know but we're here and we're ready," said Breath of Life owner, Blume Loe.

Loe says they are prepared to meet the need for ventilators which has increased exponentially since COVID-19.

"We currently have a few dozen sitting in Arkansas, there's a few dozen sitting in Dallas and we have some here. We also have a lot on the street that are currently with patients," said Loe.

Vice President of the company, Andy Turner, says over half of the Breath of Life staff is working tirelessly to prepare for an anticipated demand.

"We've had a lot of inquiries about the need, but we haven't seen a lot of request for the actual units," said Turner.

"We care for very complex medical patients. Patients that are actually using ventilators both invasively and non-invasively. So we have a staff that's prepared to help with that, but we also have the equipment for it," said Richard Pharr, Director of Clinical Services.

Because of that, they have enough equipment to share as it's needed, nationwide.

Patients with COVID-19 are suffering from respiratory compromised fatigue which makes their breathing labored.

"It supports their lungs and helps them through that trauma time when they maybe have an increase with their fever and the mucous production that happens within the lungs," said Pharr.

The company says one kind of the ventilators they make would help transition patients in hospitals back into their homes for recovery to free up hospital ventilators for those in critical need.

"You know, whether it's in a facility setting, whether it's in a home setting. We have the ability to help, we just need people to reach out to us, we're here. We've got the clinical backing, we've got the equipment," said Turner.

So as the need for this equipment is growing nationwide, especially in hotspots like New York, Loe says his company is reaching out.

He informed me that though they did have conversations with representatives for a hospital in New York to purchase some of their ventilators, but have since been told they have already found all of the ventilators needed at this time.