A-corny story

Friday, October 31, 2003

Furry friend OKed for concentrator
TAMPA, Fla. - This is a whale of a tale or, more appropriately, a nutty story if there ever was one.

When a woman with a wheezing squirrel came looking for an oxygen concentrator for her furry friend, Adams Medical in Tampa, Fla., just couldn’t turn its back.

“This lady had a wildlife refuge and a squirrel she had taken in had a lot of problems, one of which was pneumonia, so it needed oxygen,” said Adams’ president, Desiree Chambers.

Although mainly in the business of providing home medical treatments for humans, the company has in the past helped some four-legged friends, including dogs, cats and a champion race horse, according to Chambers.

Chambers said her company will provide O2 to sick and dying creatures as long as they have a prescription, and the squirrel had no problem with that.

“They faxed us over a prescription from a vet within five minutes,” said Chambers.

The next challenge was hooking the squirrel up. Adams staff was ready to rig up a tiny mask, but its owner was unsure the finicky creature would keep it on. Instead, the squirrel found its recovery room in a small, closed container with an oxygen tube poked in the top.

And, of course, the whole spectacle was carried out according to HIPAA rules and guidelines.

“We had to get the pet’s owner in here and she had to fill out her information and, to the best of her knowledge, the squirrel’s information,” said Chambers.

Miraculously, all the efforts paid off for Rocky’s little friend, and the squirrel will live another year to climb trees and eat nuts.

“The squirrels actually doing a lot better she said,” said Chambers. “It is in great shape now.”