LOCAL NEWS

 

The Montana Red Cross organization is currently seeking healthy donors of all blood types.

 

As winter months ensue, contributions to local blood banks are critical in maintaining a healthy blood supply for area hospitals – moreso amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of June 15, 2020, the Red Cross has routinely tested all donor blood for COVID-19 antibodies and continues this practice.

Testing utilizes samples obtained at the time of donation which are sent to a laboratory to undergo routine screening and infectious disease testing.

If your antibody test result is positive, the plasma from your blood donation may be processed into a convalescent plasma product to help patients currently battling the virus.

Positive results can be accessed via your Red Cross donor account within one to two weeks time.

Whatever your antibody testing result, your donation is critical to helping save lives. The Red Cross tests every blood donation for a variety of infections.

Note: The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness. An antibody test assesses whether your immune system has responded to the infection, not if the virus is currently present.

If you feel unwell for any reason, please postpone your donation appointment. Individuals who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should not present to donate until they are symptom free for 14 days and feeling well and healthy.

 

Those wishing to donate blood are asked to schedule an appointment

1-800-RED-CROSS
or
redcrossblood.org.

 

 

 

 

Next scheduled Lincoln County
Donor Drive:

VFW Post #1548
114 W 2nd St, Libby

February 11
Noon – 5:30 p.m

Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness extends invitation
to seek heart health through Snowshoe Expeditions

Submitted by
Cameron Rasmussen
Friends of
Scotchman Peaks Wilderness

It’s been a lively hiking season this winter already at Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness. Friends and volunteers have discovered human-sized snow pinwheels atop Star Peak, followed animal tracks through the Ross Creek Cedars and enjoyed the sound of babbling brooks along Lighting Creek Road. Snowshoeing offers a particularly special experience for nature-lovers. You can travel off-trail without harming habitat. You can glide silently through knee-deep powder. Whimsical snow-covered conifers offer an element of surprise – you never know when you’re going to get a snow shower!

We have more snowshoe hikes than ever on our calendar this year and the adventures are filling up rapidly. It’s no surprise that folks are itching to get outside this winter — life is particularly stressful these days, and we’ve been cooped up in our homes for over a year now.

“Now that most community events are online, connecting with old and new friends safely on the trail is more important than ever,” said Kelsey Maxwell, Communications and Outreach Coordinator at FSPW. “We are excited to be able to provide these experiences for the folks in our community and we are so thankful to our volunteers who make these expeditions possible.”

As we scramble to meet the needs of the adventure-seekers in our community, we are reminded of the grave importance of wild spaces. Especially in times of stress and instability – people rely on the peace and solace of dense forests, free-flowing rivers and breathtaking vistas. Snowshoeing through an old-growth cedar forest in the depths of winter provides us with a unique and precious kind of silence. Summiting a snowy mountain and emerging above the clouds fosters clarity that cannot be found elsewhere.

If reading this has inspired you to join us outside this winter — you’re in luck! We still have numerous hikes planned in the coming months for novice and expert hikers alike. You’ve never snowshoed before? No problem! Our hike leaders are happy to help and we may even be able to loan you a pair of snowshoes to try it out. We have hikes through the Ross Creek Cedars, to the top of Star Peak, and around Spar Lake.

In the month of February alone, we have snowshoe trips to Ross Creek Cedars on the 9th and the 27th. Plus hikes on the Star Peak trail on 20th and 27th. More ventures in March and April include an animal tracking expedition down Blue Creek Road and a women-only hike at Regal Creek! Our goal is to ensure there is an adventure accessible for anyone who wants to explore the proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness area.

“The proposed Scotchman Peaks Wilderness area includes such a diversity of habitats,” Maxwell said. “Whether you are looking to explore ancient cedar forests or the world above the clouds – there are plenty of places to explore in our wild backyard – even in the winter!”

Snowshoe, ski, frolic or trek – we want you to join us! Log on to find hiking events and register to join us today: www.Scotchmanpeaks.org.

CPMC utilizes “Safetynet” to remotely monitor local medical patients

Submitted by

Cabinet Peaks Medical Center

 

 

 

Monitoring oxygen saturation is extremely important when a patient is very ill with COVID-19. Sometimes patients are on the cusp of having issues with their oxygen saturation but do not necessarily need to be hospitalized. It can be difficult for providers to make decisions about their care.

Nobody wants to unnecessarily hospitalize a patient, and nobody wants to send a patient home without any way to monitor a patient’s condition in the event their condition may decline.

In Sept. of 2020, Cabinet Peaks Medical Center became the first hospital in the state to add the Safetynet Device to its service line.  This devise allows CPMC to monitor a patient’s oxygen saturation remotely – in real time. Providers now have the option to monitor a patient from their home, especially if they suspect a patient may get worse, but is not sick enough to be hospitalized.

The operation of this system does require the patient to have a smart phone or tablet and some type of internet connectivity.

The device itself monitors oxygen levels, respirations rate, heart rate, and allows the patient to input their own temperature and any other symptoms they may be experiencing.

All this data is transmitted to the CPMC Cardiopulmonary Department within one minute of real time, and alerts can be set to specific parameters.

Each device is capable of transmitting information for up to eight days.  If a patient’s condition declines drastically, CPMC staff can call them to come in or dispatch an ambulance if the patient does not answer the call.
When monitoring has ended, a complete report will be printed for patient’s provider.

CPMC continues to be the first hospital in Montana to utilize this new patient observation system.
In addition to COVID-19 patients, it can be used for suspected sleep disorders, sick patients that hare having oxygenation issues, post-surgical patients, in conjunction with cardiac monitoring, and to maintain contact with high-risk newborns.

For questions regarding the Safetynet Device, please call 283-7190.