GM boosts ventilator production for coronavirus-swamped hospitals

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General Motors and two partners have combined their efforts to build more ventilation systems for hospitals during the novel coronavirus pandemic, the auto company announced Friday.
GM, Ventec Life Systems and, a coordinated private-sector response to COVID-19, are collaborating so that Ventec can increase its production of respiratory care products as hospitals across the U.S. face a potential ventilator shortage.
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"We are working closely with Ventec to rapidly scale up production of their critically important respiratory products to support our country's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," GM CEO Mary Barra said in a statement. "We will continue to explore ways to help in this time of crisis."
Ventec, based in Seattle, has been fielding requests from more than 65 countries, U.S. states and local authorities, and a number of high net worth individuals who have been calling for the medical devices that can save patients with COVID-19.
The med-tech company went from fielding hundreds of orders to thousands during the past few weeks as the coronavirus spread through the globe. Its production will increase from 150 ventilators a month to close to 1,000, Brooks said.
"This partnership will help save lives," Ventec CEO Chris Kiple said in a statement. "GM is enabling us to get more ventilators to more hospitals much faster.
Medical equipment for resuscitation in operating room. (iStock)
Ventec Chief Strategy Officer Chris Brooks told FOX Business on Wednesday that "a lot of folks" are worried that "their hospital won't have a ventilator for their loved ones."
Ventilators, which pump oxygen into the lungs of patients who are unable to breathe on their own, can cost from $25,000 to more than $50,000 each. The machines are crucial to prevent respiratory failure, which has been a common cause of death among patients with COVID-19.
"We are grateful for the partnership between GM and Ventec Life Systems, which will enable Ventec to drastically scale production of critically needed respiratory care products," said in a statement. "We know the strength of this effort relies on urgent coordination between the public and private sectors in order to get through this crisis"

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