ID Ukpong, Ascension critical care flight paramedic, showcases one of the new ventilators used in Spirit ambulances and Spirit 1. Photo courtesy Ascension.

When you transport critically ill patients to and from hospitals, or from the scene of an accident, it’s imperative to have intensive care unit-level equipment to complete the transport safely. That includes life-saving equipment like a ventilator.

Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport recently purchased and installed state-of-the-art, compact ventilators in several ground ambulances and the Spirit 1 air medical helicopter.

The new ventilators combine the functionality of a fully featured ICU ventilator with the compactness required for transport.

“A ventilator is used to artificially ventilate our patients when they can’t protect their own airway or are unable to breathe on their own,” said Shaun Piller, quality/education coordinator, Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport.

The new equipment is designed to ventilate the adult or pediatric patient and can accompany patients within the hospital and between hospitals, whether on the ground or in the air.

“Having the ability to conduct patient care with an ICU level ventilator in a confined space like an ambulance or helicopter is critical to our ability to provide quality patient care,” Piller said. “This ensures we have a seamless transition from the ambulance or aircraft to the ICU or emergency department at the receiving hospital.”