At a time when Europe is the epicenter of the global coronavirus outbreak, authorities in each
country are increasingly concerned about the possible lack of ventilators, one of the key pieces of
equipment required to treat patients.
- Ventilators are mechanical devices to facilitate breathing that use pressure to send air, or a mixture
of gases, to the lungs. They are crucial for the care of people with lung failure, which may be one of
the complications suffered by patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
*In patients who go into respiratory failure, the ventilator aids in the exchange of gases that the
lungs must do and are now unable to do. What the machine does is introduce oxygen and remove
CO2. The patient is then intubated, connected to the equipment, and the ventilator does the job of
the lungs, like a pump that powers oxygen. It is programmed according to the times it needs to be
done per minute and the volume of oxygen that must be introduced.
- The fans can also be configured to exhale air, effectively taking over the inhalation and exhalation
functions. They are programmed to “breathe” at a certain rate according to the patient’s needs.
- The Ventilators or the respirators called as during the second decade of the 19 th century till 1930’s
were termed as iron Lungs. During that time Polio patients had to be given these respirators to aid
- Ventilators are currently used primarily in intensive care and in emergencies, but are also used
when a patient who has had an operation is heavily anesthetized.
“These ventilators does not treat a patient, they just help while the treatment is going on. If it is a
virus, this equipment does not kill the virus, but rather gives the patient time to overcome the period
of respiratory failure while his immune system tries to overcome the crisis, time for him to overcome
the crisis naturally”, explains the intensivist / Doctors treating patients who also remembers that
there is no specific treatment for this viral infection. COVID-19 behaves the same as pneumonia and
produces respiratory distress, the only difference in that is, patients who come to need a ventilator
use it for a longer time than a patient with bacterial pneumonia or another virus.
HOW IS INDIA COPING UP WITH THE SUPPLY OF VENTILATORS ?
- Many international companies manufacture ventilators, including the Swiss Hamilton Medical, the
German Draegerwerk, Getinge Group of Sweden, the Irish Medtronic and the Dutch Philips. Whereas
the Indian domestic market includes Medion Healthcare Thane & Mumbai Based AVI Healthcare,
Vadodara based AB Industries & similarly Life Line Biz which is based in Ahmedabad , in Chennai its
Air Liquid Medical Systems, & in Mysore its Skanray Technologies, and from New Delhi its AgVa
Healthcare . They are planning to increase the ventilators production currently from 5,500-5,750
units /month to 50,000 per month by May end. These domestic manufacturers are even creating
huge capacities in tie-up with automobile makers like Maruti, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata Motors,
Hyundai India and Pune-based Kalyani Group as per the latest updates. These enthusiastic ventilator
& medical equipment manufacturers are getting a big boost and support from some of the big
names in automobile manufacturing bigwigs along with the much needed help of favourable
government policies is giving a hope of big boost to ‘Make in India’ within the medical devices
industry along with bridging the gap in supply demand looking at the coming days in medical field
due to COVID-19.