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Medtronic Shares Ventilator Design Amid Shortage Concerns

Medtronic has already ramped up production of its high-performance Puritan Bennett 980 ventilators by more than 40%, and is on track to more than double its capacity to manufacture and supply the ventilators in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But even at a production volume of 500 machines a week, the Dublin, Ireland-based company recognizes the need for more.

The company is now publicly sharing the design specifications for an older model of the technology, the Puritan Bennett 560 (PB 560), which will allow companies across industries to evaluate options for rapid ventilator manufacturing to address the dire need for more ventilators for COVID-19 patients.

Introduced in 2010, the PB 560 is sold in 35 countries around the world. 

“This ventilator’s ability to be used in a range of care settings, as well as its technology and design, make it a solid ventilation solution for manufacturers, inventors, startups, and academic institutions seeking to quickly ramp up ventilator design and production,” Medtronic said.

PB 560 product and service manuals, design requirement documents, manufacturing documents, and schematics are now available at Medtronic.com/openventilator. The PB 560 design specifications are available today, software code and other information will follow shortly, the company said. The portable ventilator provides airway support for both adults and children. It can be used in clinical settings and at home and provides mobile respiratory support.

“Medtronic recognizes the acute need for ventilators as life-saving devices in the management of COVID-19 infections. We know this global crisis needs a global response. Over the past few weeks, we have ramped up production of our Puritan Bennett 980 ventilators. But we also know we can do more, and we are,” said Bob White, executive vice president and president of the company’s minimally invasive therapies group. “By openly sharing the PB 560 design information, we hope to increase global production of ventilator solutions for the fight against COVID-19.”

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. Without ventilation support, some patients with severe respiratory disease might not survive, Medtronic noted.

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