Why are ventilators essential in the fight against COVID-19

Medical ventilator equipment

With healthcare resources being stretched, ventilators are a key piece of medical equipment in keeping mortality rates lower during the fight against COVID-19. 

What does a ventilator do?

Think about a ventilator being similar to a pair of lungs. The main function of the lungs is the process of gas exchange called respiration (or breathing). When we breathe, oxygen from incoming air enters the blood, and carbon dioxide, a waste gas from the metabolism, leaves the blood. Every cell in your body relies on oxygen to stay alive and healthy. 

A ventilator is a machine designed to temporarily take the place of your lung functionality either through a facemask or through a tube being inserted into your windpipe to control airflow through your lungs. It is important to understand that a ventilator is not a cure for COVID-19 or any other lung constricting illness but instead it helps to support lung functionality while the body is fighting the infection. 

So what’s the problem?

As hospitals are facing the possibility of a critical ventilator shortage, biomedical engineers are fighting with medical device companies and their repair monopolies that are limiting their ability to perform repairs on their own. Having access to service manuals, parts and diagnostic tools to repair ventilators that hospitals already own is critically important to keeping infected patients alive. Biomedical technicians, who are certified, are struggling to make life-saving repairs without having to go to the manufacturer directly. On-site and independent biomedical technicians can fix ventilators in a matter of hours in order to return it to service more quickly. If they do not have access to the information necessary to repair the ventilator then they have to rely on the manufacturer, who typically has longer lead times, and sick patients don’t have the necessary medical equipment they need. 

How can we help? 

ERD is a certified biomedical service provider who specializes in medical equipment repair and technology. Our biomedical technicians bring the skill sets and scheduling flexibility you need to supplement and support your hospitals, clinical engineering staff. ERD has had the opportunity to work on equipment from all leading medical device manufacturers, giving your biomedical technicians a leg up when they don’t have access or knowledge about repairing ventilators when they absolutely need to. With ERD’s knowledge and your on-site biomedical technicians, we can together fight to keep all of your ventilators available and operational. 

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