How To Get More Ventilators And What To Do If We Can't

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Factory capacity can be ramped up, but the components come from overseas and they could be hard to find.

Ventilators are the machines that push and pull air through a tube connected to the lungs, allowing people with compromised pulmonary capacity to breathe. For people with severe infections from this coronavirus, which attacks respiratory cells, these machines can literally be the difference between life and death.

Whatever the Trump administration is or isn’t doing already, it’s clear that the availability of ventilators depends in part on what steps the federal government takes and when it takes them. “The industry has shifted into overtime to produce much-needed medical supplies, devices and equipment, such as ventilators,”

And there are other ventilators, possibly quite a lot of them, that could be put to use. The federal government keeps an emergency stockpile and officials have indicated it’s about 10,000 units, although the precise number and location are classified because it is part of the government’s defense plans against bioterrorism and biological warfare.announced it was releasing 2,000 ventilators to the Department of Health and Human Services.Nobody is quite sure how many ventilators the U.S.

A version of that may be happening already. Ventilator production is a global enterprise, with companies operating across Europe and Asia. But several large producers, including General Electric, ResMed and Vyaire, are either based in the U.S. or have large assembly operations here. “When you add a third shift to a factory running two, you can’t think it as adding 50% capacity,” an executive said.

They have to be the exact components. … You can’t just pick up different screws at Home Depot and call it good.The federal government could expedite those reviews. Certifying a new factory or manufacturing process can take up to 180 days, industry executives said. But there are ways to reduce that time, especially if it’s a company that already manufactures ventilators adding factories rather than new entrants trying to build them for the first time.

“Government clearly has a role in facilitating the physical transportation of the vital supplies to U.S. hospitals from across the globe,” said Van Sumeren, “by relaxing importation and customs delays and addressing the certain backlogs we should expect at our nation’s ports.”But in order to transport component parts, there have to be component parts to transport. And there may not be, at least in the quantities that ventilator producers need right away.


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And how about masks!! We must have that technology available in this country.

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