Response group announced for ventilator conversions

A group led by Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro has been established to boost the availability of invasive ventilators in Australian hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic.


The Rapid Response Group was announced on Thursday to examine ways to upgrade non-invasive ventilators and other equipment into invasive ventilators. According to the statement, the defence-led group would adopt a “fast-fail experimental approach” for prototyping a non-invasive ventilator conversion and, if successful, engage with industry to produce conversion kits for Australian hospitals.


“This group led by Professor Monro will support the extensive work that’s already been done to secure and produce more ventilators in Australia, including agreements with local manufacturers ResMed and Grey Innovation,” said industry minister Karen Andrews.


“We have already witnessed the power of bringing together local manufacturers and clinicians, with an agreement reached for Grey Innovation to lead a group of Aussie companies in making 2,000 invasive ventilators.”


The response group includes federal, state and territory representatives, and industry and university experts. 


Invasive ventilators are used for severe cases of respiratory distress than could be treated non-invasively, and provide an artificial airway. For this, a “tube attached to a ventilator is inserted into the patient’s… mouth or nose (and down the windpipe), or via a surgically-made hole in the neck.”  


Picture: Grey Innovation


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