Company Unique Group has designed a cost-effective Covid-19 pressure ventilator system. Picture: Supplied
Company Unique Group has designed a cost-effective Covid-19 pressure ventilator system. Picture: Supplied

Local engineering firm ready to begin mass-producing ventilators

By Mwangi Githathu Time of article published Jun 15, 2020

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Cape Town - A Cape Town-based engineering company that makes undersea equipment has announced the successful completion of the last stage of testing of its in-house-designed Covid-19 pressure ventilator system made specifically for Africa.

Ventilators are highly specialised medical equipment used in intensive care units to support individuals whose lungs are not working adequately despite receiving oxygen.

Rodney McKechnie, director for the Unique Group’s Africa operations, said: “With the initial production batch of 10000 units we are now ready to mass produce the Uni-Life 100 system.”

McKechnie said: “The system provides a highly cost-effective solution that can be mass produced as a light-weight, modular and rapidly distributed alternative to other ventilator systems.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a donation by the US government, through its Agency for International Development (USAid), of up to 1000 much-needed ventilators and accompanying equipment to South Africa to assist with its national response to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, Premier Alan Winde said last week that teams at Tygerberg Hospital "have recorded some encouraging results in the use of high-flow oxygen to treat patients in place of the use of ventilators.

“This innovative therapy could become a game-changer in how we treat critical patients going forward and is an important part of our preparedness response."

Winde said: “Of the six earliest Covid-19 patients placed on ventilators at the hospital, none made it.

"However, high-flow oxygen was administered to seven more patients, and of these six were able to recover without the use of a ventilator.

“Since then, 114 patients have presented to Tygerberg for critical care, of which 70% met the criteria for the use of high-flow nasal oxygen.

"Of these, a further 70% have recovered,” said Winde.


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Cape Argus

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