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The owner of Sea Long Medical Systems said on Thursday that the flood of ventilator mask orders at his company requires a “scaling up” of production to meet the demand from hospitals fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
“We’re just completely inundated with phone calls from all over the world from India to anywhere you can think of plus the majority of the hospitals in the United States,” Chris Austin told “America’s Newsroom.”
Austin went on to say, “We could easily get orders for 500-1000 and some individual orders [request 20,000] helmets.”
Austin explained that the helmet is similar to a “space helmet” that bears the same extension cables that a typical ventilator mask would have.
“It’s compatible with any hospital device they already have," he said.
The overwhelming number of coronavirus patients flooding hospitals across the U.S. has resulted in a shortage of ventilators for those experiencing difficulty breathing.
But while President Trump has faced criticism from states, like New York, for the short supply, federal agencies have been predicting the need for more ventilators for nearly two decades. Reports from various government offices have been sounding the alarm over the course of at least three successive administrations.
Austin said that the masks are used in hospitals at the University of Chicago, University of Pennsylvania, a “few" veterans' hospitals and others.
Austin is employing more people as well as getting help from volunteers to ramp up production of the ventilator masks.
“We’ll be able to produce 5,000 a week," he said. "We have plans to get us to 50,000 within four to six weeks maximum. But we want to do it much faster so we’re looking for someone to be a benefactor so that we can scale up quickly because we just don’t have the funds.
“We haven’t been addressed by any of the state and federal officials [to] give us some of the assistance so we can scale up faster and bigger and we know that that’s needed,” Austin said.