A least 8,500 respirators produced by a partnership of French companies out of a total of 10,000 are allegedly unfit to treat serious cases of the Chinese coronavirus.
The respirators were produced by a partnership of French corporations and were offered to the government at cost in order to increase the supply of respirators for coronavirus patients.
The government stated that it required 5,000 units of the complex “T60” respirator and at least as many units of the “Osiris 3” model, which is much more basic in design.
Air Liquide decided to produce 8,500 units of the Osiris 3 respirator as it was easier to manufacture than the far more complicated T60. However, according to some medical professionals, the Osiris is useless in intensive care units where the respirators are most needed.
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Philippe Meyer, a resuscitator at the Necker hospital in Paris, told France Inter: “It is clearly not, to be modest, a respirator suitable for the management of complicated acute respiratory distress.”
“We have the impression that they made an announcement to show that we were able to produce 10,000 respirators. But personally I would not use an ‘Osiris’ in intensive care,” he added.
Yves Rebufat, an anesthesiologist at Nantes University hospital, agreed, saying: “If you use it for acute respiratory syndrome, you risk killing the patient after three days. Because it’s not for that. Covid-19 patients are not easy to ventilate. You need high-performance respirators with pressure and volume control systems.”
Air Liquide defended their choice to build so many Osiris models, saying they had sought advice from the French Health Ministry. The contract for the respirators is expected to cost taxpayers 30 million euros.
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France, along with several other European countries, has had major issues sourcing supplies of medical equipment to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
One of the largest producers of respirator masks in Europe was located in France until it was shut down in 2018, largely due to globalism, according to French union Solidaires Côtes d’Armor.
Other countries have relied on shipments from China, where the virus originated, but have been plagued with faulty equipment that does not meet medical standards.