STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Getinge, one of the world’s biggest makers of medical ventilators, said on Monday it will increase production capacity this year by 160% to 26,000 ventilators to meet demand spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic.
That expands on the Swedish company’s announcement last month that it would increase capacity by 60%.
Ventilator producers are under pressure to raise output as hospitals around the globe become overwhelmed by coronavirus patients. Meanwhile, the pandemic is disrupting the transport and supply of crucial ventilator parts such as hoses, valves, motors and electronics.
“The demand for advanced ventilators for the intensive care units in hospitals continues to increase globally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak,” Getinge said in a statement.
The company said on March 16 it had already raised output substantially, going from one work shift to nearly two at its ventilator factory, and was looking to quickly ramp up further though it was experiencing component shortages.
The following day, Getinge, which says it has around a 25% share of the global ventilator market, said it would increase capacity by 60%.
In 2019 it produced 10,000 ventilators, equipment that is crucial in the care of patients critically ill with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.
To counter the shortage, some countries including Italy, Britain and the United States have drafted in carmakers and aerospace manufacturers to start producing ventilators.
On Sunday, electric carmaker Tesla Inc showed a prototype for a ventilator in a video published on its YouTube channel.