Doctors in the UK have sounded the alarm after 250 ventilators from China appeared to be defective, and could potentially harm–and even kill–patients suffering from the deadly coronavirus.
The Shangrila 510 model ventilators, made by Chinese firm Beijing Aeonmed Co. Ltd., were revealed to have been designed for ambulances rather than hospitals.
As a result, the oxygen supply delivered to patients proved to be inadequate and the devices were difficult to clean properly.
Moreover, the breathing machines were also confusing to use with a hard-to-follow instruction manual.
According to The Daily Mail, doctors from the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust said that the machines could provoke “significant patient harm including death” if used in a hospital.
In a statement from a letter published at NBC News, the medical professionals said: “We believe that if used, significant patient harm, including death, is likely.
“We look forward to the withdrawal and replacement of these ventilators with devices better able to provide intensive care ventilation for our patients.”
NBC News further reported:
The doctors said that the ventilator’s oxygen supply was “variable and unreliable” and that its build quality was “basic.” Its fabric case could not be cleaned properly — essential when fighting a highly infectious virus — and it arrived with a “non-E.U.” oxygen connection hose.
As well as these serious concerns about the quality of the ventilators, they said part of the reason they were unsafe was because the devices were unfamiliar to British doctors and unsuitable for use in the current crisis.
The UK attempted to seek a refund from China for defective coronavirus tests. The companies which allegedly sent the malfunctioning equipment may not have existed in the first place–leaving the UK taxpayer $20 million out of pocket.
In a viral video, a French nurse demonstrates equipment from China disintegrating as she dons them. Another video showed a Chinese factory worker laugh as he rubbed facemasks ready for dispatch on his shoes.
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