New Bubble CPAP machine helps infants in respiratory distress

Thanks to Mile Bluff Medical Center Foundation, Mile Bluff’s Respiratory Therapy Department has a new tool that helps newborns and infants breathe easier.

The Bubble CPAP system is a non-invasive ventilation treatment for children with infant respiratory distress syndrome. This condition is caused by many different things, and makes it difficult for newborns and infants to breathe. Recommended by the American Heart Association, this system uses continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to help infants who are breathing spontaneously.

Before the Bubble CPAP system was available at Mile Bluff, newborns and infants with respiratory issues were often transferred to a bigger facility. “We noticed that these babies were receiving Bubble CPAP treatment when they arrived at a different hospital,” recalled Ann Meicher, Director of Respiratory Therapy. “We felt that we could provide this therapy locally so babies could stay with their families at Mile Bluff.”

Since it was purchased in January, the Bubble CPAP system has been used with at least four babies. “Before, we would have transferred these patients,” explained Ann. “But we were able to keep two of the babies here at Mile Bluff for treatment, and we were able to maintain effective ventilation for the other two who needed additional care in an intensive care unit.”

One of the babies who stayed at Mile Bluff was Emma, daughter of Tasha and Matthew Ragan. At four months of age, Emma was admitted to the hospital with Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). This virus can be serious for infants, and can cause pneumonia and difficulty breathing. “The virus does not respond to oxygen or medications. The Bubble CPAP machine helped to make it so that Emma did not have to work so hard to breathe,” said Tasha.

Even though Emma needed to stay in the hospital a few days for treatment, her family was glad she was able to stay close to home. “As a mom with two other small children, having this service in Mauston allowed me to still see my family every day,” recalled Tasha. “This machine is a wonderful addition to Mile Bluff, and I’m sure it will continue to benefit our pediatric population.”

“Providing this type of care not only benefits the baby, but their family members as well,” echoed Ann Meicher. “We can keep them where they have the support of their loved ones, and of course, the wonderful care from our Mile Bluff staff.”

It is through the generous donations of businesses and individuals, that the foundation was able to purchase the Bubble CPAP system for the Respiratory Therapy Department. Watch the foundation’s Facebook page to learn more about additional new equipment as it arrives. If you want to impact the health of the community through the foundation, call 608-847-1495, or click here.