Breathing easier at Digby General

Jonathan Riley, Digby Courier
Published on June 28, 2011
Dr. Ron Matsusaki of Digby General and Marshall Murray of the health services foundation talk about the benefits of the new BiPap machine while nurse manager Paulette Thibodeau demonstrates. Jonathan Riley photo

People in Digby can breathe easier now.

The Digby and Area Health Services Foundation has donated a BiPap machine to the emergency department at Digby General Hospital.

A BiPap machine is essentially a machine to help people get more air into their lungs when faced with a heart or lung emergency situation such as congestive heart failure and lung disorders.

“It decreases the effort of breathing, “ said Dr. Ron Matsuaki, an emergency physician at Digby General. “It will allow us to keep the patient comfortable while we’re waiting to transfer them to a bigger centre.”

In some situations it may prevent the need for placing a tube in a patient’s airway to help with breathing. That procedure would be much more traumatic for the patient.

BiPap stands for bilevel positive airway pressure and helps with both inhaling and exhaling. It allows the air that is delivered through the mask to be set at one pressure for inhaling and another for exhaling.

Ambulances are outfitted with a smaller version called CPaP (continuous positive airway pressure).

Murray Marshall, chair of the foundation says it is a real pleasure to be able to help.

“We just want to do whatever we can to help the people of