The Corrector received the following letter to the editor
We want to warn everyone about the recent decision to cut the essential 24-hour critical care given by respiratory therapy at Northern Montana Hospital. Our loved one required a ventilator to save his life. Medical personnel treating ventilated patients have seconds to make critical decisions that could either save or take a life. Although a respiratory therapist can be called in from home, they are no longer in house for emergencies. Every person in the ER and ICU did a wonderful job in saving our loved one, even though we witnessed the need for more training.
We tried to explain to the CEO, without success, while we understand the need to cut costs, there should have been previous training given to the new primary care givers for ventilated patients. Every second counts when trying to save the life of someone suffering from anaphylactic shock. (Anaphylactic shock: A widespread and very serious life threatening allergic reaction to bee/wasps stings, adverse reaction to medications etc.) On-the-job training after the respiratory therapist arrives at the hospital is not acceptable. The CEO wanted the names and departments of the persons we saw needed more training to properly run the machines, breathing equipment and accurately administer medication during breathing treatments previously handled by highly trained respiratory therapists. Our answer was EVERY person who comes in contact with a ventilated person whether in the ER or ICU needed the proper training before the first patient walked through the ER door. The CEO wanted a scapegoat. The only person we feel did not take seriously the job of saving a life and fell short of doing the job he is highly paid to do is the CEO, Mr. Henry.
Again, we want to thank Dr. Ward, the ER and ICU nursing staff and especially the new ER doctor for saving the life of our loved one, despite the lack of additional training the new primary caregivers should have received before the professionals’ hours were cut.
Larry and Linda Nitz