LA PLATA, MD (October 1, 2020) —The Charles Regional Medical Center Foundation announced today that it has received a $26,345 grant from the Charles County Department of Health to provide respiratory care kits to patients recovering at home from COVID-19.
With the funding, the University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (UM CRMC) staff will distribute up to 500 recovery kits to Charles County residents. The kits, which include digital thermometers, pulse oximeters, and dental care items, help discharged patients monitor their health and minimize COVID-related complications, like pneumonia, which require emergency care. The funding will also enable the production of educational pamphlets in English and Spanish that will be distributed with the kits and instruct recipients on how to properly use the provided equipment.
“This critical funding will enable our hospital to continue the “Protect Your Lungs” campaign, launched this spring, that has been a key part of protecting our community against the devastating effects of COVID-19,” said Anne Weekley, Vice President for Quality and Patient Experience at UM CRMC. “These kits help patients monitor their oxygen level once they leave the hospital, and monitor changes in their respiratory condition and, if necessary, seek appropriate care.”
Weekley added that the multi-faceted effort includes a video series designed to educate patients on using the incentive spirometers, which help patients expand and exercise their lungs. In addition, hospital personnel perform outreach to discharged patients to monitor their condition and help them make the transition back to good health, and oversee the delivery of the materials to community partners like nursing homes and long-term care facilities.
Program participants will include patients who have been discharged following hospitalization at UM CRMC, or were evaluated in the hospital’s Emergency Department, but did not require hospitalization. According to statistics provided by the Maryland Department of Health, Charles County is
- the ninth highest in the state for confirmed COVID-19 cases (2,798),
- ninth highest for confirmed deaths (99),
- 20th for percentage of the population tested.
Charles County is the 10th most populated county in the state.
“Up to five percent of patients who are discharged or seek care at our Emergency Department for COVID will return to the hospital with shortness of breath or pneumonia,” said Weekley. “That may increase with the advent of flu season, and this grant will give us critical tools to meet that expected increase in the volume of patients requiring respiratory care.”