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Local manufacturer engineers ventilators to assist in COVID-19 crisis

Husky Corp. said it could produce as many as 500 ventilators per week with a team of about five employees
Credit: SLBJ

PACIFIC, Mo. — A manufacturer in Pacific, Missouri, known for making the nozzles and hoses used for fueling, on Tuesday said it has crafted a design for ventilators that can be quickly produced.

Husky Corp. said it could produce as many as 500 ventilators per week with a team of about five employees. Brad Baker, Husky executive vice president, said the company is perfecting the design for approval by the Food and Drug Administration before it can be marketed.

“The length of the certification process will be up to the FDA — many accommodations have been made in light of the current emergency,” he said via email Tuesday. “At the moment, getting the functional requirements perfected has been the primary focus. Feedback from doctors and medical professionals have identified a couple updates that will be integrated by the end of the day.”

Once officials at Husky became aware of a national need for ventilators, the company went to work creating an inexpensive version of their own.

The design inspiration came when Husky Engineering Manager Zach Holcomb was asked by a friend, a nurse anesthetist, if he could think of ways to use manual resuscitator bags as stand-alone respirators, according to a release.

“The result in a few short days produced a ventilator apparatus using a standard size 1,500-ml resuscitator bag, compressed by a rubber ram attached to an air cylinder that is used in product testing applications,” the company said. “The apparatus will deliver air or oxygen at adjustable flow rates appropriate for patients in need.”

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