GM plans to ship ventilators as soon as next month

March 30, 2020

General Motors and Ventec Life Systems plan to begin shipping ventilators as soon as next month, the companies said in a news release.

The announcement came as President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar the authority under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to prioritize federal government contracts for ventilators.

GM and Ventec Life Systems plan to build VOCSN critical care ventilators at GM's Kokomo, IN, manufacturing facility. Ventec officials expect the FDA-cleared ventilators to ship as soon as next month.

Ventec officials also said the company plans to ramp up production at its manufacturing facility in Bothell, WA.

The companies first announced their partnership on March 20, saying they have been working with, a coordinated private sector response to COVID-19.

“Depending on the needs of the federal government, Ventec and GM are poised to deliver the first ventilators next month and ramp up to a manufacturing capacity of more than 10,000 critical care ventilators per month with the infrastructure and capability to scale further,” the companies said in a statement.

GM said it will deploy about 1,000 workers to manufacture the ventilators, bringing back to work employees from its plants in Kokomo and Marion, IN.

Separately, GM officials said the automaker also plans to manufacture FDA-cleared Level 1 surgical masks at its Warren, MI, manufacturing facility. GM officials expect production to begin this week, ramping up to 50,000 masks per day within two weeks. The facility has the potential to produce up to 100,000 masks per day, GM said.

The VOCSN is a multi-function ventilator that integrates five devices into one unit, including a critical care ventilator, 6 L/min equivalent oxygen concentrator, touch button cough assist, hospital-grade suction and a nebulizer.

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