Smith+Nephew has been contracted by the UK government to build OxVent ventilators to help in the treatment of coronavirus(SARS-CoV-2). The London-based company said the OxVent ventilator is currently under review by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) and the order is subject to the design gaining authorization.
The device was the result of a collaboration of scientists, clinicians and medical technology manufacturers from the University of Oxford, King’s College London and Smith+Nephew.
The company is supporting the assessment process and preparing for manufacture to begin immediately following authorization from MHRA. The OxVent ventilator will be made at the firm’s Advanced Wound Management facility in Hull, UK.
In a release, Roland Diggelmann, CEO of Smith+Nephew, said “we are proud to be able to support this vital effort and help meet the UK Government’s ventilator challenge to ensure the NHS is equipped for treating patients with COVID-19. I want to thank all our employees who are working long hours to make this happen, while also ensuring continued production of the important medical products already manufactured at our Hull site to support other patients. Our Purpose is Life Unlimited and I can think of no greater expression of this in practice.”
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 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.
Companies have stepped up to the plate to help mass produce ventilators. Recently Medtronic announced it was publicly sharing the design specifications for an older model of the technology, the Puritan Bennett 560 (PB 560). Introduced in 2010, the PB 560 is sold in 35 countries around the world.