For patients who have to rely on ventilators to survive they now have a place to call home in South Dakota. Thanks to the Department of Social Services that place is Avera Prince of Peace. They've added a ventilator unit as part of its 90-bed long-term care facility in Sioux Falls.
Patricia Wilson loves her new home at Avera Prince of Peace Retirement Community in Sioux Falls. She moved in November and loves being back in her home state. Pat has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) a muscle wasting disease that's weakened all of her muscles to the point that breathing has become a chore. She has to rely on a ventilator to breath for her at night.
Pat says, "I'm on oxygen now but I need the ventilator at night because I have trouble coughing and breathing. It helps me all the way around."
Avera Respiratory Therapist Patrice Jerke says, "With Patricia if she wasn't on this eventually she would retain carbon dioxide and go into respiratory failure. She is off of it during the day which is great. She's on heated humidity during the day with oxygen bled into it which is adequate for her during the day, but at night she needs to rest and the ventilator allows her to rest and her lungs to rest and the vent does the work for her."
To give you an example of the amount of air volume the ventilator puts out for pat it's 500 ml the same as what's in a 20 oz. soda.
Before November of 2009, patients like Pat would have been forced to go out state to long-term care facilities because until November South Dakota didn't have any facilities with a dedicated vent unit. Now they do and Avera Prince of Peace is the only nursing home facility to offer that. The Department of Social Services allocated money for the renovation of 2 double occupancy rooms equipped with in-room oxygen, suction, built in electric lift in the ceiling and 4 ventilators.
Avera Prince of Peace Director Justin Hinker says, "Previous to now they would have to go to Lincoln, Omaha, Denver, Minneapolis and so now they can stay in South Dakota which makes it easier for their family to visit. We are thankful to the DSS for recognizing this need and taking steps to fulfill it."
Pat can rest at night knowing her body is getting complete rest when she goes on the ventilator. Plus, she can rest assured the staff at Avera Prince of Peace will take good care of her around the clock, 7 days a week.