The luck of the draw is helping Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences students be better prepared to care for the youngest patients.

Mark Lotz, program director, Blessing-Rieman Respiratory Care program, won a special ventilator while attending the 2018 American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) World Congress. 

Lotz was selected as the recipient of a Drager Babylog VN500 neonatal ventilator in a random drawing.  The ventilator is used to help premature babies breath. It is valued at $12,500.

“These ventilators are so expensive that most respiratory care education programs cannot afford to buy them,” said Lotz.

Drager Inc., holds the drawing for a ventilator to be donated to respiratory care programs during the AARC education section meeting so that students can get hands on experience with the equipment. 

The Drager Babylog VN500 is capable of providing the latest modes of ventilation to even the smallest and most critically ill neonate. 

It will allow the Blessing-Rieman’s respiratory care students to practice adjusting settings and trying different breathing modes in order to prepare them to participate in Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit clinical experiences. 

In addition, nursing students will be able to participate in simulations designed to help them understand and be comfortable with the care necessary for individuals on a ventilator.   

“One of the reasons so many premature babies survive today is because of the development of these ventilators which are used to support respiration until the baby’s lungs are developed enough to allow normal breathing,” said Lotz. “The reason neonatal ventilators are so important is because premature babies have very small lungs that can easily be damaged by pressure of ventilators designed for adults.” 

Having access to the ventilator allows Blessing-Rieman respiratory care students to practice adjusting settings and trying different breathing modes to be prepared to complete their Neonatal Intensive Care Unit rotations at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in St. Louis and Boone Hospital Center in Columbia.

Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. 

Their patients range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients who have diseased lungs. 

They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, drowning, or shock.

Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers an associate of science in respiratory care degree program. 

More information on the program is available by calling the Admissions Office at 1-800-877-9140