The shortage is dire enough that doctors are having to make life-or-death decisions about which people with severe cases of COVID-19 get a ventilator. Fridley, Minn.–based Medtronic is running its ventilator production lines 24/7 with a goal of increasing production by 40%, but demand is still outstripping supply.
President Donald Trump has taken the extraordinary step of using the Korean War–era Defense Production Act to make a General Motors and Ventec Life Systems partnership produce more of the devices, and there are even university researchers working on controversial DIY solutions.
Medtronic noted today that it sells its PB 560 ventilator, introduced in 2010, in 35 countries around the world. The medtech giant touted the ventilator as a solid ventilation solution for manufacturers, inventors, startups, and academic institutions seeking to quickly ramp up ventilator design and production. The company now has PB 560 product and service manuals, design requirement documents, manufacturing documents, and schematics available at Medtronic.com/openventilator. The company says software code and other information will follow shortly.
“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,” Bob White, EVP and president of Medtronic’s Minimally Invasive Therapies Group, said in a news release. “By openly sharing the PB 560 design information, we hope to increase global production of ventilator solutions for the fight against COVID-19.”