Categories: COVID-19HealthNews

New lung cancer screening equipment will also treat COVID-19

JACKSON, Wyo. — A new piece of equipment coming to St. John’s Health will not only improve cancer diagnoses in the central airways and chest, but will also help treat COVID-19 patients.

The PENTAX EBUS, or Endobronchial Ultrasound, sends a camera and ultrasound through the airway and into the long to spot and biopsy legions. It can also treat patients will acute respiratory distress (ARDS) caused by COVID-19 by clearing the lining of infected lungs, enabling patients to come off ventilators and begin breathing on their own.

“Thanks to a quick vote of the St John’s Health Foundation Executive Committee Monday morning, the equipment purchase, approximately $200,000, will be ‘fast-tracked’ in order to have it available for COVID-19 patients. Its long term application, however, is part of St John’s Health goal of keeping our community closer to home for cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said hospital CEO Paul Beaupre.

Long after the COVID-19 crisis is behind us, “the EBUS will also provide a superior and far less invasive diagnostic tool to spot and biopsy abnormal masses, enlarged lymph nodes and vessels,” according to Dr. Haven Malish, St. John’s Health newly recruited pulmonologist. Patients currently must go out of state to Idaho or Utah to have this procedure.

Dr. Malish is board-certified in sleep medicine and pulmonary disease. He completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Southern California along with fellowships in pulmonary and critical care at the University of Southern California and in sleep medicine at the Mayo School of Graduate Medical Education.

“The Foundation continues to be so very grateful to our community for its response to this crisis. Their generosity is the reason we are able to act quickly to respond to the hospital’s urgent needs,” said Foundation President John Goettler.

An anonymous donor has stepped forward and offered a $50,000 challenge grant and has invited donors to pledge their financial support of the EBUS machine.

The community can make a financial contribution in support of the COVID-19 Employee Response Fund online.

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