Medtronic has increased ventilator production by more than 40% to date and is on track to more than double its capacity to manufacture and supply ventilators in response to the urgent needs of patients and healthcare systems across the globe confronting COVID-19, according to a company statement.
“Medtronic recognizes the acute need for ventilators as life-saving devices in the management of COVID-19 infections. High-performance ventilators play a critical role in the management of patients with severe respiratory illness, such as COVID-19, who require assistance because they cannot breathe effectively. By placing a patient on such a ventilator, the patient’s lungs are permitted to rest and recover while the ventilator performs the functions of supplying oxygen and simulating the actions of breathing. Without ventilation support, some patients with severe respiratory disease might not survive,” the statement said.
The company said ventilator demand has significantly increased in light of COVID-19. “Ventilator manufacturing is a complex process that relies on a skilled workforce, a global supply chain and a rigorous regulatory regime to ensure patient safety.”
Some of the steps the company has taken to remp up ventilator production include:
- The company currently has over 250 employees in its Ireland ventilator manufacturing facility dedicated to ventilator manufacturing and plans to more than double that number, including transferring staff from other Medtronic sites to support ramp up activities.
- Additional manufacturing shifts have been put in place and new manufacturing shift patterns are being introduced to bring the plant to 24/7 operation.
“Medtronic recognizes the demand for ventilators in this environment has far outstripped supply,” said Bob White, executive vice president and president of the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic. “No single company will be able to fill the current demands of global healthcare systems. However, with all manufacturers increasing their production and through partnerships with governments, hospitals and global health organizations, Medtronic is committed to getting more ventilators into the market and to the right locations in the world to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19.”