Pulmonetic President and Customer Take Flight
During a tour of the Pulmonetic Systems factory, Colton, Calif, a ventilator-dependent client got a chance for a real adventure. Wayne Abney, 20, noticed airplane photographs in president Doug DeVries’ office. DeVries, a pilot, offered an airplane ride to the young man who lives with a rare disorder that inhibits his breathing. Not only did they take to the skies, but Abney also piloted the plane.

d04a.jpg (7408 bytes)With the help of his portable ventilator, Wayne Abney, foreground, prepares for takeoff with Pulmonetic Systems president, Doug DeVries.

The plane reached a height between 4,000 and 5,000 feet when DeVries turned over the controls to Abney. “He did a great job for several minutes,” DeVries says.

Abney’s portable Pulmonetic Systems LTV Ventilator plugged into the airplane’s cigarette lighter, and his mother, Judy, monitored his oxygen with a pulse oximeter.

DeVries says that the best part of the day was watching Abney and his family enjoy the experience. “His mother, father, and brother rally around him and are enthusiastic about him. To me, that was very inspiring.”

The Abneys also inspired the employees at Pulmonetic Systems, who rarely have the opportunity to interact with those who benefit from their products, DeVries says. He was excited to witness the full circuit of development of the ventilator, including Abney’s experience using the portable device in a situation for which it was intended.

DeVries, who earned his pilot’s license in 1982 and restores aircraft, may volunteer to give airplane rides at a camp for ventilator-dependent children in Michigan next summer. (909) 783-2280; www.pulmonetic.com.

Respironics Offers Patient Education Materials
Respironics, Pittsburgh, now offers health care providers a patient education poster and wallet cards featuring the Comfort Series™ of masks. The poster shows photographs of the masks—including the Profile™ Lite Nasal Gel Mask, the Simplicity™ Nasal Mask, and the Contour Deluxe™ Nasal Mask—and describes the benefits of each. Matching wallet cards, displayed in an acrylic tabletop holder, allow patients to keep pertinent information from sleep studies, such as the provider’s contact information, mask type and size, therapy mode, and prescribed pressure.

In other news, the company signed two 3-year agreements to provide its ventilation products to Novation, Irving, Tex, a health care supply cost management company, and MAGNET, Mechanicsburg, Pa, which develops capital equipment contracts for its 12,000 members. Products included the Esprit® and the BiPAP® Vision™ Ventilatory Support System. (800) 345-6443; www.respironics.com.

Riverside Acquires DHD Healthcare
DHD Healthcare, Wampsville, NY, became the first medical device company acquired by the Riverside Company, a private equity fund. DHD Healthcare will remain an independent company.

Under its new ownership, Rex Niles was promoted to president of DHD Healthcare; Cindy Lougheed became vice president of sales and marketing; and Doug Crumb became vice president of operations. (800) 847-8000; www.dhd.com.

Siemens Combines Monitoring and Ventilation in One Location
The Infinity Advantage™ from the Electromedical Systems Division of Siemens Medical Solutions, Danvers, Mass, integrates monitoring and ventilation parameter data at the point of care. It facilitates the integration, analysis, and distribution of patient data in one location, omitting the need for additional equipment at the patient’s bedside.

For patients from neonate to adult, the etco2 + Respiratory Mechanics Pod makes both hemodynamic and lung mechanics data available on the same bedside monitor. The Infinity Advantage features a remote view respiratory application to allow central access of patient monitoring data—including ventilator waveforms, loops, trends, and settings—from any Siemens or third-party ventilation system with the proper interface. A central alarm notifies clinicians of the need to implement any corrective actions at the ventilator. Designed for Siemens 300/300A ventilators, the Open Lung Concept Screen allows clinicians to optimize the open lung protocol for improved lung recruitment, reducing patient time on the ventilator. (888) 826-9702; www.siemensmedical.com.

Vapotherm and Bay State Anesthesia Form Partnership
Vapotherm, Annapolis, and Bay State Anesthesia, North Andover, Mass, signed an agreement to market and distribute Vapotherm’s patented respiratory products to the hospital market. Bay State Anesthesia will represent the Vapotherm product line in Connecticut, Upstate New York, Massachussetts, Rhode Island, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire.

“We are very pleased to be in a position to secure a partnership agreement with Bay State Anesthesia,” says Mark Tomchik, Vapotherm’s new vice president of North American Sales. “Its focus on the respiratory market as well as its track record of success iin building market position, specifically with pioneering products, were critical factors in our decision.” (410) 974-9707; www.vtherm.com.

Passy-Muir Offers Online Courses
Passy-Muir Inc, Irvine, Calif, manufacturer of the Passy-Muir Tracheostomy and Ventilator Speaking Valves (PMVs), offers continuing education courses on its Web site for clinicians who work with tracheostomized and ventilator-dependent patients. These programs provide clinicians with detailed instruction regarding PMV use with a variety of patient populations. Each course is AARC approved for 1 hour of category 1 continuing respiratory care education credit.

The five courses include assessment and placement of the PMV for non-ventilator-dependant patients, pediatric issues and application of the PMV, ventilator application of the PMV, dysphagia and improving swallow with the PMV, and transitioning issues for patients utilizing the PMV. (800) 634-5396; www.passy-muir.com.