Ventilator Challenge finishes

July 04, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
The UK Ventilator Challenge finishes this weekend after producing 14,000 systems in three months.
The UK Ventilator Challenge finishes this weekend after producing 14,000 systems in three months.

The UK Ventilator Challenge will finish this weekend having produced 14,000 units to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scientific modelling at the start of the coronavirus crisis predicted that the NHS was going to run out of ventilators, said the UK government on Saturday. This led to the Ventilator Challenge to step up production of existing designs and design new ventilators from scratch.

The government says it received an overwhelming response, with over 5000 companies offering their support and over 7500 members of staff contributing to the effort. However there were companies without medical experience, such as excavator maker JCB, and other that had experience said they had no response to their offers of help:  SPEC SAYS TO CALL AN ELECTRONIC ENGINEER TO MEET BATTERY CHALLENGE

The Ventilator Challenge worked to scale up the production of the paraPAC from Smiths, and the Vivo65 and Nippy4+ from Breas Medical in Sweden, and helped guide one newly adapted model, the Penlon ES2, through regulatory approval. The CE approval for this has just been received, allowing the units to be exported to other countries that need ventilators.

Just over 10,000 units from Smiths and Penlon have been delivered, along with 4,000 from existing manufacturer Breas Medical . Over 2,500 have been imported from abroad. A shipment of 150 Vivo65 and Nippy4+ ventilator units arrived from Sweden in May.  

Four new designs were assessed as meeting the requirements of the UK’s medical regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency. The Dyson/TTP CoVent, the Babcock Zephyr+, the Cambridge Consultants Veloci-Vent and the Swagelok Piran Vent were deemed to have achieved a performance level which met the MHRA’s requirements.

The independent testing organisation (MD-TEC) concluded that they would have all been clinically usable as pandemic ventilators. However these designs were not progressed to mass production as part of the Ventilator Challenge due to reduced demand, said the UK


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