$38,000 donation buys hospital respiratory machine

HSA registered respiratory therapist Melaine McLeod operates the COSMED Q-box.

The Cayman Islands Health Services Authority has purchased a new respiratory machine to improve the diagnosis and treatment of patients with breathing and chronic lung problems following a donation of $38,000 from the Cayman Islands Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

According to a press release from the HSA, the new technology is an all-in-one respiratory function test solution that guarantees highly accurate results and provides a more comfortable experience for patients.

“Respiratory function tests are noninvasive tests that show how well the lungs are working. They measure lung volume, capacity, rates of flow and gas exchange,” said HSA registered respiratory therapist and certified pulmonary function technologist Melanie McLeod.

“This information can help healthcare providers diagnose and decide the treatment of certain lung disorders. Identifying the severity of a breathing impairment earlier and more accurately will lead to more efficient and effective treatment and higher quality outcomes for our patients.”

The machine, called a COSMED Q-box, includes a large cabin, known as a body-box, in which the patient sits. The machine can help determine the severity and type of breathing impairment a patient is experiencing and help to confirm if medical treatment being administered is effective, the HSA said.

The machine previously used by the Cayman Islands Hospital has been shipped to Faith Hospital on Cayman Brac, where it will be used to perform respiratory function tests there, so patients on the Brac will not have to travel to Grand Cayman for the service.

The funds donated by the Cystic Fibrosis Trust were also used to purchase a chest airway clearance vest, which helps to loosen and thin retained secretions that could lead to increased rates of respiratory infection, breathing difficulties and reduced lung function.

The donation is the final one the Cystic Fibrosis Trust will be making, as the Trust is winding up.

“It is wonderful to bring the Trust to a close with the purchase of two fantastic pieces of equipment for the people of Cayman,” said Pamela Fowler, volunteer fundraising manager of the Trust since its inception in 2005. “The Trust decided to split the remaining funds between the HSA and research projects for a cure for cystic fibrosis overseas.

“This is really a gift from all the volunteers and donors who helped and supported the Trust over many years, for which we are so thankful. Special thanks are also due to our three trustees, Christina Kirkaldy, Tiffany Polloni and Jon Fowler who directed the Trust from the beginning.”

Started by Pamela and Jon Fowler, the Cystic Fibrosis Trust’s aim was to raise money for research and a cure for cystic fibrosis, a progressive, genetic disease that causes persistent lung infections and limits the ability to breathe over time.