WILLCOX — Cochise Community Hospital recently received a donation of COVID-19 relief equipment, including a ventilator, 192 rapid COVID tests and numerous boxes of personal protective equipment (PPE), from the Arizona Coalition for Healthcare Emergency Response (AzCHER) and Arizona Department of Health Services.

Cardiopulmonary Manager and respiratory therapist, Colene Davis, said she is excited that the Zoll ventilator is so versatile. It allows NCCH to have a third machine that can help a person breathe with or without being intubated with a breathing tube. The new ventilator has pediatric and adult circuits, oxygen attachments, an adaptor for a vehicle and an onboard compressor.

“We’ll use it a lot as a bipap or cpap (non-invasive ventilation) and for patients with COPD, sleep apnea or a patient who is labored in breathing. It is also used to help a patient blow off high CO2,” she said. “We’ll be using it in the ER and all of our respiratory therapists are trained and updated in patient ventilator management.”

The NCCH Lab received 192 rapid COVID-19 test kits, which allow NCCH patients to get their results back frequently the same day, depending on timing of the test. The “Abbott ID Now” Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 rapid tests take about 15 minutes to process after a nasal swab, but it may take up to an hour before the patient gets results, Fili Escalante, NCCH’s Laboratory manager, said.

NCCH has standing orders from Dr. Cara Christ (director of Arizona Department of Health Services), allowing anyone who has been exposed to or displays symptoms of COVID-19, may be tested. Also, those required to get the test prior to a surgery may get a test at NCCH.

Escalante added that anyone who is seen at the clinic and is recommended to get a COVID test will be sent to NCCH, where you can get the test without leaving your vehicle.

Additionally, NCCH received numerous boxes of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including N95 and KN95 masks, gowns, face shields, shoe covers and non-surgical gowns, as well as foaming antibacterial soap.

CEO Mo Sheldon said, “NCCH is grateful for this donated equipment during this difficult time. We also thank Cochise County and Wesley Carroll and Gilbert Alcarez, of the 162nd Wing of the Air National Guard at Morris Air Base in Tucson, for delivering this equipment to NCCH.”