The capacity of Harrison’s Point Isolation Facility to supply oxygen to critically ill COVID-19 patients has received a major boost with two oxygen generators which arrived on the island today.
Speaking to the media at the Grantley Adams International Airport (GAIA), where the equipment was handed over to the QEH, Executive Chairman of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Juliette Bynoe-Sutherland said the generators purchased from California, will allow Harrison’s Point to produce its own oxygen, to stop the reliance on local suppliers who import.
Bynoe-Sutherland said they will pipe oxygen straight into the critical care beds.
“So, essentially it increases our capacity from 500 litres per minute to 900 litres per minute, which is an 80 per cent increase in capacity.
The Executive Chairman said the two large oxygen concentrators cost approximately BDS$700 000, including transportation cost.
“The ability to have these generators situated at Harrison’s Point means that we can now be self-sustaining and produce our own oxygen. So, in addition to home isolation, what we have done as an institution is to build two additional critical care units. We have changed our secondary isolation at Harrison’s Point from being a step-down ICU [Intensive Care Unit] to a new ICU.
“You are familiar with Primary Isolation A. Now we have Primary Isolation B. We have a second isolation critical care unit with an additional 42 beds. And our tertiary facility, the one at the back you are familiar with, was for patients that were relatively mild but asymptomatic we have now added 48 ICU beds”.
Bynoe-Sutherland thanked the United States Government, through the Embassy, and World Hope International for stepping in to provide the logistical support of moving the large pieces of equipment, and for also seizing the opportunity to donate medical supplies that arrived on the same air transportation that the oxygen generators came on.
U.S. Ambassador Linda Taglialatela, who was also present at the handing over ceremony, said World Hope International, a United States NGO, paid for and facilitated the delivery of the much-needed oxygen generation plants.
The Ambassador also indicated that another American Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), MAP International, donated $3 million of medical supplies. She said World Hope and MAP’s work, together with the Government of Barbados and the U.S. military through U.S. Southern Command, has brought all involved to this point.
Taglialatela said: “These 300 pallets of medicine and medical supplies provided by MAP International, and the wings and wheels provided by World Hope, testify to the words so common at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic-We are in this together.
“These-faith-filled organizations live out their creed – to whom much is given, much is required. I want to publicly thank the teams at MAP International and World Hope International. World Hope International’s CEO, John Lyon, is with us today”.
Lyon, who thanked all partners involved in getting the oxygen generators and donated medical supplies to the island, commented that partnership is needed to mitigate the risk of persons contracting COVID-19 and to get the pandemic under control. (AH)