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Genesis, UnityPoint Health Trinity: Power disruption impacts patients on oxygen

Published: Aug. 12, 2020 at 11:44 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2020 at 5:08 PM CDT
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QUAD CITIES (KWQC) - A powerful storm that hit the Quad Cities region Monday afternoon caused disruptions for thousands, including patients on oxygen who rely on electric service to operate their equipment.

In response, Genesis Home Medical Equipment is ensuring that 1,100 home health patients have continuing access to their oxygen needs, they said Wednesday in a media release.

“This storm had significant impact on our patients who need oxygen regularly, and need the source to be dependable,’' Glen Roebuck, executive director of Genesis Home Health, outpatient and senior services, said in the release. “We understood how the loss of power would impact the patients we care for in the community.

“With the loss of power for such an extended period of time, oxygen tanks meant to serve as emergency reserves were in very high demand and needed to be replaced much more frequently.‘'

According to the release, Genesis Home Medical Equipment staff mobilized quickly and contacted all Genesis oxygen-dependent patients on Monday following the storm. They reached out again on Tuesday.

“Patients on oxygen must have it,” Roebuck said. “Some were showing up in emergency departments, which creates overcrowding in those emergency departments. To watch the Genesis Home Medical Equipment team spring into action on Tuesday morning was like experiencing a symphony.”

Genesis on Tuesday doubled oxygen supplies, reassigned team members for enhanced pickup and delivery services, and once again made contact with all at-risk customer to ensure they were safe and that their needs were met, according to the release.

For those who absolutely required electric services due to their unique needs, Genesis team members partnered with patients to find solutions until electric

service is restored in their homes, according to the release.

Genesis Home Medical Equipment also fulfilled the needs of many customers of other providers who were unable to address needs following the storm, according to the release.

“The storms experienced in the Quad Cities on Monday have once again given our community the opportunity to display our strength and perseverance in the face of adversity,’' Roebuck said. “At Genesis, we are proud of our team, and their 24/7 commitment to care for our community.‘'

According to the release, Genesis also proactively reached out to all home health and hospice customers to ensure they were safe and needs were being met.

For more information on how Genesis can serve your home health needs call 421-4663. For more information on home medical equipment and oxygen services, call 421-3300.

Later on Wednesday afternoon, UnityPoint Health Trinity also released the news release below about their response to power outages impacting patients on oxygen.

“UnityPoint Health Trinity is working diligently to provide oxygen to patients who have been affected by the power outages. The lack of electricity creates barriers for those who need to charge their tanks to get their oxygen. UnityPoint Health – Trinity and UnityPoint at Home® have 300 tanks on hand and ready to deliver to patients with more being filled and delivered this week.

“This storm is a testament to how many problems can arise when power is down,” said Russell Byrne, UnityPoint at Home Senior Homecare Administrator. “People who use oxygen have to have it, so we are doing everything we can to make sure customers get what they need in a timely manner.”

UnityPoint at Home is ready and available to help patients and families that may need oxygen and are working diligently to supply it. If the need arises, the community is urged to call as soon as possible. Turnaround time for getting oxygen delivered after a call is around 1-2 hours. The 24/7 hotline to get oxygen for UnityPoint Health – Trinity and UnityPoint at Home customers is (309) 779-4663.

In addition, Rock Island County and Scott County Emergency Management Agencies have partnered with the American Red Cross to provide shelter for those who are electricity-dependent due to medical devices. Please call the American Red Cross hotline specifically set up for the storm event at (872) 529-1784.”

Copyright 2020 KWQC. All rights reserved.

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