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April 23, 2013 (Cleveland)

Emergency Preparedness Team Invests $150K in Oxygen Generators

NewsThe Center for Health Affairs’ emergency preparedness team recently made a $150,000 investment in two oxygen generators for Northeast Ohio regional hospitals. This purchase helps member hospitals meet one of the Joint Commission’s planning requirements by increasing the ability of the hospitals to continue patient care in the event of a medical gas failure. Historical event lessons learned also identified a community need for oxygen tank refill capability for patients who use oxygen at home – a need that was reinforced during Superstorm Sandy

“When long-term power outages occur, such as when Superstorm Sandy hit, it’s imperative that individuals who depend on oxygen are able to obtain refills for their tanks,” said Beth Gatlin, The Center’s director of emergency preparedness. “During Superstorm Sandy, emergency rooms saw increased traffic from those in need of oxygen tank refills.” 

The oxygen generators are regional assets purchased with hospital preparedness grant funds and will be shared as needed between the Northeast Ohio regional hospitals and also can be deployed to other parts of the state if requested. At this time the equipment will be housed at St. John Medical Center in Westlake, Ohio and University Hospital’s Ahuja Medical Center in Beachwood, Ohio. In addition, as part of its public health plan, The Center’s Emergency Preparedness team, through the Cuyahoga County Emergency Services Advisory Board, plans to purchase an additional oxygen concentrator to be housed in a public location, such as a shelter. Establishing a location for community access to oxygen in this way will help control hospital traffic during a time of emergency. 

To learn more about The Center’s Northeast Ohio Emergency Preparedness Initiative or about its recent investment in oxygen generators for regional hospitals, please contact Beth Gatlin at beth.gatlin@chanet.org, 216.255.3665, or Andrea Bishop at andrea.bishop@chanet.org, 216.255.3662.


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