Ventilator manufacturers are preventing hospitals from fixing broken ventilators, machines that keep coronavirus patients alive.
Tell manufactures to let hospitals fix ventilators !
In the midst of the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, ventilators are a life-saving tool that are being used to treat coronavirus. But these life-saving machines are in short supply. Hospitals are facing an extreme shortage of these devices, and they need to repair the ventilators they have. Because of the repair restrictions put in place by ventilator manufacturers — like GE Healthcare, Medtronic, Ventec Life Solutions, and Hamilton Medical — and the group that lobbies for them, AdvaMed, they are not allowed to fix these critical devices in the fight to save patients from coronavirus.
The number of patients seeking treatment for coronavirus is increasing exponentially. This means there is an increase in the need for ventilators, which are used to assist a patient’s breathing or may breathe for them. But if hospitals try to repair their ventilators, they will be locked out of them by anti-repair software. If hospitals hire independent repair technicians to fix their ventilators, they face legal ramifications.1 For every broken ventilator or ventilator whose software cannot be updated, a patient in need of a ventilator will die. This is particularly life-threatening for Black patients; because Black people disproportionately suffer from illnesses like asthma, they are that much more likely to need a ventilator to stay alive if they contract coronavirus.2
Help get hospitals the equipment they need to save coronavirus patients. Tell manufacturers to let hospitals fix broken ventilators.
The stakes are high. There are only 62,000 ventilators in service across the country, and states like New York alone need at least 30,000 more.3 Hospitals cannot afford to purchase new ventilators due to their high prices; producing new ventilators will take months to meet the urgent demand; and, without repair documentation and software, hospitals cannot fix the ventilators they already have.4 5 However, there are as many as 100,000 older ventilators in need of repair stored in hospitals and warehouses around the country. These ventilators could be quickly brought into service if ventilator manufacturers immediately act.6 100,000 more ventilators means thousands upon thousands of people will be given a fighting chance to beat coronavirus.
Amid dwindling medical equipment, medical staff are being forced to decide whether they should implement a universal “do not resuscitate” rule, which could have disproportionate impacts on Black patients, who are more likely to have the pre-existing health conditions that would disqualify them from treatment if such drastic measures are implemented.7 We cannot allow Black people to suffer because ventilator manufacturers value profit over our lives.
Join us in taking action to demand manufacturers release ventilator repair manuals and allow hospitals to fix broken ventilators.
Until justice is real,
Brandi, Rashad, Arisha, Jade, Johnny, Amanda, Evan, Imani, Samantha, Jennette, Ciera, Eesha, Marcus, FolaSade, and the rest of the Color Of Change team .
- “Hospitals Need to Repair Ventilators. Manufacturers Are Making That Impossible,” Vice, March 18, 2020, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/243138?t=7&akid=41796%2E1942551%2E8wzjTs
- “Rumor, Disparity and Distrust : Why Black Americans Face an Uphill Battle Against COVID-19,” US News, March 25, 2020, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/243139?t=9&akid=41796%2E1942551%2E8wzjTs
- “United States Resource Availability for COVID-19,” Society of Critical Care Medicine, March 19, 2020, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/243140?t=11&akid=41796%2E1942551%2E8wzjTs
- “More lifesaving ventilators are available. Hospitals can’t afford them.,” The Washington Post, March 18, 2020, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/243141?t=13&akid=41796%2E1942551%2E8wzjTs
- “The Trump Administration Just Canceled an Order for 80,000 Ventilators to Haggle Over the Price,” The Root, March 27, 2020, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/243143?t=15&akid=41796%2E1942551%2E8wzjTs
- “United States Resource Availability for COVID-19,” Society of Critical Care Medicine, March 19, 2020, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/243140?t=17&akid=41796%2E1942551%2E8wzjTs
- “Hospitals consider universal do-not-resuscitate orders for coronavirus patients,” The Washington Post, March 25, 2020, https://act.colorofchange.org/go/243142?t=19&akid=41796%2E1942551%2E8wzjTs
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