A new medical ventilator that has been designed to help with the treatment of people suffering from the COVID-19 has been approved for use in the UK. Hundreds of Penlon Prima ES02 units that are updates of a previous iteration, will be undergoing building during the next week. The consortium of huge firms that have developed this new ventilator, as a collaborative project, aims at creating 1,500 of them every week by May.
The UK government has already stated that it needs to bring its ventilator count from 10,000 to 18,000 to successfully limit the COVID-19 outbreak. Although some parties have clearly said that it is not a realistic goal. The news has been released after approval that was obtained from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
As per a Cabinet Office spokesman in the UK, the devices will be delivered in the coming months and the government will continue assessing bids that are put forth from other consortiums. Michael Gove who is the Cabinet Secretary, says that this demonstrated ‘the significant progress being made’ after the giants were asked to work collectively to create ventilators that can be used.
The firms that were part of the consortium included Airbus, Siemens, Ford, and several Formula 1 teams. All of them worked with Penlon – the medical device manufacturer – and helped it to tweak its earlier ventilator at faster rates for mass production. Pre-pandemic, Penlon was capable of only creating 50-60 ventilators every week – compare that to 1,500 ventilators every week!
In compliance with the updated MHRA rules, the ESO2 might be switched off and on with minimal effort thus enabling liquid to drain regularly from patients’ lungs. This is critical because the severely sick COVID-19 patients have to drain their lungs hourly. The Chair of VentillatorChallengeUK consortium, Dick Elsy said that the ventilator was subjected to ‘stringent testing and clinical trials for the last two weeks. Ventilators of this type are complex and critical pieces of medical equipment, so ensuring the absolute adherence to regulatory standards and meeting clinical needs were always our priorities.’