Tell ventilator manufacturers to let hospitals fix broken ventilators!

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    Tell ventilator manufacturers to let hospitals fix broken ventilators!

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    In the midst of the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, ventilators have become an increasingly important tool that’s being used to treat coronavirus virus. But these life-saving machines are in short supply. Hospitals are facing an extreme shortage of these life-saving devices, and they need to repair the ventilators they have. Because of the repair restrictions put in place by ventilator manufacturers — like Vyaire Medical, GE Healthcare, AdvaMed, Medtronic, and Hamilton Medical — they are not able to.  

    The increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for coronavirus means there is an increase in the need for ventilators, which are used to assist a patient’s breathing or may breathe for them. But if hospitals try to repair their ventilators, they will be locked out of them by anti-repair software. If hospitals hire independent repair technicians to repair their ventilators, they face legal ramifications. With every broken ventilator or ventilator whose software cannot be updated, a patient in need of a ventilator will die. Black patients are particularly endangered by this practice; because Black people disproportionately suffer from illnesses like asthma, they are that much more likely to need a ventilator to stay alive if they contract coronavirus. 

    Hospitals are desperate. There are only 62,000 ventilators across the country, and states like New York alone need at least 30,000 more. They cannot afford to purchase new ventilators due to their high cost; new ventilator production will take months to meet the urgent demand; and, without repair documentation and software, hospitals cannot fix the ventilators they already have. Amid dwindling medical equipment, medical staff are being forced to decide whether they should implement a universal “do not resuscitate” rule, which could have disproportionate impacts on Black patients, who are more likely to have the pre-existing health conditions that would disqualify them from treatment if such drastic measures are implemented. It is unacceptable that Black people will suffer because ventilator manufacturers value profit over people. 

    In order to continue saving lives, hospitals need to be able to repair their ventilators without restrictions. Join us in calling on ventilator manufacturers to allow hospitals to fix their ventilators.

    Below is the petition we will send to Vyaire Medical, GE Healthcare, AdvaMed, Medtronic, and Hamilton Medical on your behalf.

    Here is the Petition:

    Ventilators can be crucial for the treatment of respiratory illnesses. But right now, they are not just an important tool; they are life-saving. The inability to repair these medical devices is causing an undue burden on hospitals, who are being forced to watch many of their patients who’ve contracted COVID-19 (coronavirus) die without them. Because of these dire circumstances, and the increased demand for ventilators in hospitals due to the growing number of patients with coronavirus, we ask that you immediately release all repair documentation and software, schematics, and manuals for ventilators to hospitals and independent medical repair technicians so that hospitals may repair these critical medical devices. We also ask that you disable any software you may have incorporated into your ventilators that prevents repairs.

    As ventilator manufacturers, you have the power to change the outcome of this pandemic. By providing hospitals and independent medical repair staff with access to your ventilator repair guides, and by removing the software locks that are currently in place, you will save lives. 

    Please value people over profits, and allow hospitals to repair ventilators so they can do everything possible to save as many people as possible from this deadly virus.