A family-run engineering company in Wales developed a special ventilator to help tackle coronavirus in just three days – and are now manufacturing a 100 a day.
The Covid Emergency Ventilator was devised with the help of a senior NHS consultant and has already successfully treated a coronavirus patient.
Engineers CR Clarke – who usually design plastic fabrication equipment for industry – were approached by Dr Rhys Thomas who was concerned at the lack of intensive care unit ventilators.
It took just three days to build the device on a small industrial park in Ammanford, south Wales.
On Saturday, it successfully treated a patient and now the Welsh Government has given the go-ahead for production of 100 ventilators a day.
Dr Thomas, a consultant anaesthtatist at Glangwili Hospital, Carmarthen, devised the machine based on advice from Italian doctors fighting Covid-19.
He said : ‘Although it won’t replace an ICU ventilator, the majority of patients won’t need intensive care if they are treated with this ventilator first, releasing ICU ventilators for more serious Covid-19 cases and other general medical cases.’
‘The machine has other benefits in that it will clean the room of viral particles and only supply purified air to the patient. The patient can self-care as specialist nurses are not required releasing them for other duties.’
The innovation has been praised by Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price for placing Wales ‘on the front foot’ in the battle against the virus.
He said: ‘This has been a truly amazing achievement.
‘I cannot praise too highly Dr Rhys Thomas for his skill, his dedicated staff at Glangwili hospital who tested the device, as well as CR Clark & Co for responding so swiftly.
‘It’s fantastic that we have such brilliant expertise in Carmarthenshire to create and deliver this new device in volume at such short notice.
‘I also commend the Welsh Government for its confidence in Dr Rhys’ ability by giving his life-saving device the immediate go-ahead for production.
‘This is an outstanding example of co-operation at its best. It shows that Wales, as a small nation, can get things done quickly as we face the biggest challenge of our generation.’
Images: Wales Media Services