October 19, 2021
St. Peter’s Health is asking community members who have no longer needed, rented oxygen concentrators from St. Peter’s Home Oxygen to return the devices. If community members have unneeded concentrators from another oxygen vendor, St. Peter’s asks that they return the equipment directly to their oxygen vendor. The call comes as St. Peter’s faces shortages in at-home oxygen concentrators due to significantly increased demand amid the COVID-19 surge and national supply chain disruptions. The local health care system will clean the no longer needed concentrators and put them back into the community to help seriously ill patients who need them.
St. Peter’s is currently working with FEMA and the Montana National Guard to secure concentrators available through stockpile resources. The organization is also working with partners to secure access to additional supplemental oxygen devices for hospitalized patients, like V60 devices. V60 devices are non-invasive oxygen supplementation and ventilation devices that deliver exceptionally high levels of oxygen to critically ill patients. St. Peter's closely monitors access to resources like ventilators and bulk oxygen supply, and while a record amount of bulk oxygen is currently being used, the supply, and access to bulk oxygen, currently remains adequate to serve all hospitalized patients.
“We are using unprecedented amounts of oxygen in the hospital setting and sending many, many patients home on home oxygen due to COVID-19,” said St. Peter’s Health Chief Medical Officer and President of the Regional Medical Center Dr. Shelly Harkins. “We are working diligently with our oxygen suppliers to access more home oxygen supplies, and even working with federal partners to access reserves. However, we also think there are some people who may be able to help us out with unneeded, rented supplies at home that were never returned.” Oxygen concentrators are one of many medical supplies currently impacted by shipping delays and supply chain disruptions.
St. Peter’s emphasizes that it is only requesting rented concentrators that are no longer needed. “No one should give up their needed oxygen concentrator if they use it or may need it in the near-term. We are not asking patients to sacrifice their at-home devices,” said St. Peter’s Medical Group President Dr. Todd Wampler. Often, oxygen concentrators are given to people experiencing complications from a chronic disease like COPD or emphysema. Many community members need the devices for long periods of time, periodically, or for their entire lives. St. Peter’s does not want people who need the devices to relinquish their devices. “We are simply looking for concentrators that were given, or rented, to people with a short-term illness or complication that are no longer needed.”
If you have an unneeded concentrator from St. Peter’s Home Oxygen, please call 406-447-2739 and ask to speak with a Respiratory Therapist before returning the device to ensure it can be cleaned and re-used. If you have an unneeded concentrator from a different local oxygen vendor, please call them directly and coordinate your return.