With medical supplies and equipment quickly dwindling in the current COVID-19 pandemic that has taken hold of the world, Dyson Ltd. has announced that it will produce 15,000 ventilators for the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK.
The production of the ventilators was in response to a request that was made by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who asked Dyson to make 10,000 ventilators. Within just 10 days, Dyson developed the technology for its new CoVent ventilator. The British manufacturer is renowned for producing vacuums as well as hair dryers.
Dyson founder James Dyson made the announcement in a letter shared to the company’s employees in which he stated that the company has “refocused resources … to design and build an entirely new ventilator … [which] is designed to address the specific clinical needs of COVID-19 patients.” He added that it can be manufactured “quickly, efficiently and at volume.”
While 10,000 ventilators will be provided to hospitals in the UK, 5,000 more will be donated to other countries. It is reported that the ventilators will be ready by April.
The announcement comes as hospitals in countries all over the world face shortages in medical equipment including ventilators. It is estimated that there are 100,000 ventilators in the US, which is posing to be a major concern as the total number of COVID-19 infections in the country is now well over 100,000, the highest of any country in the world, as of March 29, 2020, with numbers on the rise. The US is predicted to be the next epicenter of the virus – this, as the total number of cases worldwide has now surpassed 740,000.
Other companies have also announced production of ventilators, including several automakers such as Ford, GM, Toyota and Tesla that have pledged to convert their production lines to make the medical machines.
Moreover, some hospitals are employing ‘split ventilators’ where multiple patients can be placed on one machine. Although there is mixed opinion on this experimental ‘crisis-mode’ approach, the State of New York has approved the technology that allows for ventilator sharing, with at least one hospital in the state having two patients on one ventilator currently.
This, as the state becomes one of the hardest hit in the US, accounting for approximately 45 percent of the country’s total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of March 29, New York City is grappling with a case load of well over 30,000 and at least 776 deaths as a result of the virus.
Dyson is aiming to make its newly-designed ventilators available internationally. The machines will feature the company’s cutting-edge digital motor technology. The CoVent will “achieve a high-quality air supply to ensure its safety and effectiveness, drawing on our air purifier expertise which delivers high-quality filtration in high-volume products,” said Dyson.
With COVID-19 cases on the rise, there are many concerted efforts underway to assist in the development and innovation of approaches in helping cope with the growing medical needs during the pandemic.