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According to industry officials, while manufacturers are racing to increase production of the medical ventilators required for critically-ill coronavirus patients, there still may not be enough of the machines if cases surge, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
Medtronic, Philips, Draegerwerk and Getinge, among the biggest suppliers of medical ventilators and related respiratory equipment, said they are working to meet increased global demand, including in the U.S.
"The actual available inventory on the shelf is gone," said Chris Brooks, chief strategy officer at Ventec Life Systems, adding that "there's definitely more demand than there is supply today. We’re doing everything we can to ramp up supply."
Hamilton Medical has received hundreds of orders in recent weeks, with a company spokeswoman noting that the orders are "more than we can currently provide."
To meet higher demand in Asia, Europe the US, Hamilton expects to increase production in Switzerland to 400 ventilators a week, up from about 200 currently.
Meanwhile, Medtronic said it has boosted ventilator production by more than 40% and is on track to more than double capacity to meet "significantly increased" demand, adding that it would more than double the 250-person workforce at its Galway, Ireland, plant that makes its Puritan line of ventilators.
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