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TCC loans life-saving equipment to Sentara Healthcare

While school is out, Tidewater Community College decided to let Sentara Healthcare borrow 11 ventilators for people in the hospital with COVID-19.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A local community college is loaning life-saving equipment to Sentara Healthcare.

Tidewater Community College has offered them several ventilators that are typically used in the classroom. Now that school has transitioned to online instruction, the ventilators are helping patients at local hospitals.

“We loaned 11 ventilators to Sentara Healthcare system. We took them to one central location and they will be in charge with deploying them to the different clinical facilities,” said TCC respiratory therapy program director, Denise Bieszczad.

Bieszczad said Sentara officials came to them asking if they could borrow the equipment.

She said, “We got talking about resources and ventilators and he said can we borrow some and I said, 'We will figure it out.'”

Bieszczad said the ventilators are typically used in simulations for students earning an associate's degree in respiratory therapy. She said the life-saving equipment is crucial to help people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Bieszczad explained, “It’s not just the vent, we gave them all the support things with it. The cleaning supplies, the insulation valve, and the tubing. There is a lot of support items that go with it."

Sentara Healthcare officials are just loaning the ventilators. Bieszczad said there is no exact time when the equipment will end back up in the classroom.

Bieszczad explained, “We really wouldn’t be using the ventilators until August. I don’t know what the summer is going to look like. I just figured I would worry about that when the time came. I would not take a ventilator off of a patient and so we will figure it out.”

Bieszczad said she is glad she could play a smart part in helping our community get through this pandemic.

“This is such a small little thing that we are doing. I support the people who are on the front lines and that they are taking care. Anything we can do to help support them,” she said.

TCC officials said they also offered to loan to Bon Secours hospital. They and Sentara are clinical partners. TCC's respiratory therapy students complete clinical rotations there.

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