Somnetics International, a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based CPAP manufacturer, announced today the company is working hard to repurpose its inventory of Transcend CPAP machines for use in the fight against COVID-19.

“We know we have a part to play in fighting this pandemic,” says Clarence Johnson, CEO of Somnetics. “As a medical device manufacturer, we understand the importance these devices can play in helping COVID-19 patients with breathing insufficiency. We are working as fast as possible to boost production and convert our CPAP machines to help prevent a nationwide shortage of ventilators in healthcare settings.”

As the healthcare system nationwide braces itself for a potential surge of COVID-19 patients, experts predict there will be a shortage of critically needed mechanical ventilators. New York City alone estimates they will need an additional 30,000 units to treat the expected increase in patients. Although ventilator manufacturers have increased production of these devices, they are not expected to meet the surging demand.

Somnetics has responded to these concerns by taking steps to repurpose its Transcend CPAP machines into respiratory support devices to assist patients that have trouble breathing as a result of the COVID-19 virus. Their engineers are working on a solution, including designing a new breathing circuit to help control aerosolization of virus particles to protect healthcare workers.

The U.S. federal government has cleared the FDA to issue the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA), dated March 24, 2020, which authorizes the emergency use of continuous positive airway pressure machines (CPAPs) — like those Somnetics is repurposing  — in healthcare settings to treat patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Somnetics is working within the FDA EUA guidelines to produce as many as possible before a large increase in COVID-19 outbreaks occur across the U.S.

“Our healthcare professionals are on the frontlines of this battle, but resources are already running low. We are working quickly to provide another tool doctors can use in this fight to help patients breathe. If our company can manufacture devices that can help reduce the strain on the critical ventilator supply, we will certainly do all we can to help,” said Johnson.

The U.S. already has over 530,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, which have resulted in about 20,500 deaths so far. Those numbers are expected to peak in the coming months, which will put a strain on the already stretched healthcare community. Ventilators are essential in the fight against COVID-19, a respiratory illness that affects the lungs and can cause severe breathing issues in patients.

Source: Company Press Release