In mid-March, the UK Government established that up to 30,000 ventilators may be required to treat UK COVID-19 patients. This was an issue because there are no suitable ICU ventilator manufacturers in the UK, and imports are limited due to worldwide demand.
In response the UK Government’s call to arms and MRVS specification, Penlon proposed the ESO 2 emergency ventilator as a solution. The purpose of the ESO 2 is to save lives by ventilating the sickest patients until they are strong enough to be transferred to the limited number of ICU ventilators for recovery.
The first ESO 2 prototype, based on Penlon’s anesthesia ventilator, was demonstrated less than a week later and the VentilatorChallengeUK consortium was established to manufacture the ESO 2 in large numbers.
After receiving MHRA approval, the first shipment of ESO 2 production units occurred on the April 13 and the first units installed at the NHS Nightingale Hospital on April 20.
Penlon has been transformed in a matter of days from a day shift operation to 24/7 shift coverage and reconfigured for final testing of the ESO 2’s manufactured by the consortium.
Our UK factory has been dedicated completely to the ESO 2 project. Penlon’s regular business of anesthesia systems, patient monitoring, laryngoscopes and, suction and oxygen therapy will only recommence when the ESO 2 delivery objectives are met.
Currently Penlon has been told by the UK Government to ship as many ESO 2s as possible by the end of June. Once we have met this requirement it may be possible for Penlon to sell units to other countries where the need exists for COVID-19 treatment.
Longer term, Penlon believes that a UK manufactured ICU ventilator would help in any future pandemic and we are investigating how the development can be funded.
In addition Penlon looks to the future as we face significant challenges on how to re-establish our core business later in the year.
In the words of Penlon CEO, Guruswamy Krishnamoorthy,“At Penlon, we are delighted to have been given the opportunity to dedicate our lives, 24/7, to the task of making the ESO2 for the NHS. We would also like to pay tribute to the dedication of the NHS, the Penlon workforce, VentilatorChallengeUK members and other key workers.”
Penlon is a fully owned subsidiary of BPL Medical Technologies, a leading Indian medical devices company headquartered in Bangalore. BPL Medical’s range of products includes electrocardiographs, patient monitors, defibrillators, central nursing stations, stress test systems, oxygen concentrators, ultrasound scanners, colposcopes, foetal monitors, foetal dopplers, syringe/volumetric pumps, C-arms, and X-rays. The products are manufactured in an ISO 13485 certified facility and conform to global standards of quality assurance and best practice.
“We are happy that Penlon is at forefront of this initiative. Penlon has quickly transformed to align with the consortium to ramp up manufacturing of ESO2 to save many UK lives in these times of uncertainty. I am confident that post this supply committed to UK Government these units, which are highly reliable, would be exported to several other countries including India where they can be used to treat and save lives of many patients”, said Sunil Khurana, group CEO, BPL Medical Technologies.
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