The Norwegian companies Laerdal Medical and Servi have developed an emergency ventilator in collaboration with the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment that could help to double the number of breathing machines at Norwegian hospitals by the end of May. For some of the most seriously ill coronavirus patients, respiratory assistance is necessary for survival.
‘This is very good news. We know that in the next few months Norway will reach a peak in the number of patients who are ill with COVID-19. With these emergency ventilators the health service will be better equipped to handle such a peak,’ said Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Government providing funds
‘This shows what we can achieve in this country when it really counts. Different environments have come together and used their expertise in new ways. We welcome all initiatives and creative suggestions to ensure that everyone receives high-quality treatment. We must keep two tasks in mind at all times: doing what we can to fight the virus, and working to increase health service capacity in case many people become ill at the same time,’ said Ms Solberg.
The Government is therefore guaranteeing project funding and has ordered 1000 emergency respirators. The production of emergency ventilators in Norway is a collaboration between the Defence Research Establishment, Servi and Laerdal Medical.
‘If the project goes according to plan, production could start as early as April. Most patients in intensive care will need breathing assistance,’ said Bent Høie, Minister of Health and Care Services.
The COVID-19 epidemic has triggered a critical need for respirators worldwide, so delivery times estimated by the manufacturers are longer and more uncertain than normal.