Local hospital stocking up on ventilators, preparing for dangerous respiratory virus

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OKLAHOMA CITY - OU Children's Hospital is scrambling for ventilators after officials confirmed that enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) is circulating and causing respiratory illness in Oklahoma.

"Actually at Children's Hospital we've had a surge in volume.  Knowing what our current situation is, we wanted to be pro-active in case volume continued to surge," said Kendel Pinkston with OU Children's Hospital.

Aside from enterovirus, medical professionals know that RSV and flu season are on the way.

"We have seen more respiratory this year than we typically see throughout the summer, so I think it's the change. The weather has been a little more different than we normally see, so I think that's stirred up some allergies and respiratory stuff," Pinkston said.

To make sure they are prepared for the smallest patients in the state they thought ahead.

"We reached out to our vendors and really asked them to reach out to the region to see what we could have brought in.  Then we looked outside to see if there were training programs or other similar equipment because we do have specialized ventilators for the services we provide here," she said.

Now, they are stocked up and ready for what's ahead.

"We are always evaluating to make sure we have the resources needed to take care of every patient that enters our facilities," said Pinkston.