Medtronic medical devices company is more than doubling its staff numbers in Galway dedicated to building more ventilators to fight the cornavirus pandemic.
Medtronic currently has 250 people working on ventilators in Galway, and the company plans to add another 300 to the number in order to have the plant building ventilators 24/7.
Ventilators have become one of the most crucial pieces of medical equipment around the world for treating people who have been hospitalised by Covid-19.
More than 50% of the world’s ventilators are manufactured in Ireland, and countries are scrabbling to increase their supply in order to meet the soaring demand for them.
These devices supply oxygen to patients by simulating breathing, allowing their lungs to rest.
ICU’s around the world have been struggling with a lack of these life saving machines, as more and more people are hospitalised in serious condition.
The HSE has said that it had 1,229 of these machines prior to the Covid-19 crisis, and that 900 more have been ordered.
Medtronic plans to double production levels at its Mervue manufacturing facility, both by hiring new staff and by transferring them from other facilities around Ireland.
Bob White, an executive vice-president with Medtronic, said they recognise “the demand for ventilators in this environment has far outstripped supply.
“No single company will be able to fill the current demands of global healthcare systems,” he added.
“However, with all manufacturers increasing their production and through partnerships with governments, hospitals and global health organisations, Medtronic is committed to getting more ventilators into the market and to the right locations in the world to help doctors and patients dealing with Covid-19.”
correction: This article previously stated that Medtronic builds ventilators in Parkmore not, as is correct, its Mervue facility