Lt. Cmdr. Luke Zabrocki attaches a ventilator to an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban. (U.S. Navy/MC2 Karolina A. Oseguera)

TACLOBAN, Philippines - Medical specialists from Pacific Partnership 2014 fixed ventilators for infants in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in Tacloban, July 9.

“We are working on getting their ventilators setup so they can use them on the pediatric patients,” said Lt. Cmdr. Luke Zabrocki.

Family members were ventilating a two-and-a-half month old patient in the NICU suffering from meningitis with a hand pump. Once a family member needed to take a break, they switched over to another family member who took over pumping, this cycle continued 24 hours a day.

“We are trying to get the ventilators working and hooked up to the patients so it will save the family from having to hand pump them and it more effectively ventilates the babies,” said Zabrocki.

After an hour of troubleshooting, Zabrocki and his counterpart Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Nicholas Beck were able to fix a ventilator and hooked it up to the patient, beginning constant ventilation and allowing the family rest from hand pumping.

“It is amazing to see the hosts nations ability to be able to adapt to what they have,” said Zabrocki. “Watching the family members take over and work with what little they have is pretty amazing. This is definitely a great experience to see what an impact we have made here.”

Pacific Partnership is in its ninth iteration and is the largest annual multilateral humanitarian assistance and disaster relief preparedness mission conducted in the Asia-Pacific region.