Welch Allyn owner Hillrom ramps up medical device production in fight against coronavirus
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Hillrom is accelerating production of blood pressure cuffs and patient vital sign monitors at its Welch Allyn plant in Skaneateles.
The company is also ramping up production of critical care products it makes elsewhere in anticipation of increased demand from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Chicago-based medical equipment maker said its goal is to double production of critical care products “needed to meet COVID-19 patient needs.” COVID-19 is the sometimes deadly respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Among the products the company will make more of is a portable, lightweight, non-invasive ventilator approved in the U.S. for treating patients with mild to moderate respiratory distress.
Expanded use of non-invasive ventilation, which does not require a patient to be intubated, can free up capacity for invasive ventilators for the most serious COVID-19 patients, Hillrom said.
The company said its goal is to increase production of the ventilator five-fold. The product is made in Irvine, California.
Healthcare officials have expressed concerns about running out of critical medical devices, especially ventilators, and other medical supplies as the virus spreads and hospitals are overwhelmed with patients.
Nearly 49,000 people in all 50 states have been diagnosed with the virus and 615 have died from it. In New York, 25,665 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed -- 10 times more than any other state – and 210 people have died from it.
Hillrom is donating $3 million in medical devices it said are well-suited for critical and intensive care environments to 25 U.S. hospitals fighting COVID-19. The devices include intensive care unit beds, a Welch Allyn vital signs monitor and respiratory health devices.
Hillrom purchased Welch Allyn in 2015 for $2.05 billion, ending 100 years of ownership by the Allyn family.