Yukon has received six ventilators from the Public Health Agency of Canada’s emergency response services, significantly increasing the territory’s capacity to provide acute care in response to COVID-19.
Yukon now has a total of 15 ventilators distributed between the Yukon Hospital Corporation and Emergency Medical Services. Five of the new ventilators have been assigned to Whitehorse General Hospital, one intensive care unit Puritan Bennett 840 model and four of the portable Newport HT-50 models. One additional portable ventilator has been assigned to Emergency Medical Services.
We are very fortunate that there are currently no patients in our hospitals with COVID-19. With expanded ventilator capacity and a dedicated team of healthcare professionals, Yukon is well prepared in the event that we see a surge of patients in serious condition. We will continue to work with our partners at the local, regional and national levels to ensure our healthcare system has the resources necessary to manage COVID-19 in our territory.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost
Yukon has been able to receive critical pieces of equipment that will increase the territory’s capacity to respond to COVID-19. It is important to acknowledge that we have not just the equipment itself, but we also have a team which is trained and ready to use the ventilators if and when the time comes.
Yukon Hospital Corporation Board Chairman Brian Gillen
The Puritan Bennett 840 (Intensive Care Unit ventilator) and Newport HT50s (portable ventilator) arrived in Yukon on April 17. They will be returned to Public Health Agency of Canada’s emergency response services after the pandemic.
Previously there were six ventilators at Whitehorse General Hospital, and one portable unit at each of the community hospitals in Dawson City and Watson Lake. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) also has a ventilator as part of their equipment.
Whitehorse General Hospital has 30 hospital nurses trained to operate a ventilator, with support offered by a group of seven anesthesia physicians. EMS has 28 critical care paramedics who can intubate patients and run ventilators. Community Health Centre primary care nurses are trained in an intermediate airway which is similar to intubation but less technical.