Hundreds of ventilators UK bought from China ditched after doctors feared they’d kill patients – The Sun

BRITISH doctors warned that 250 ventilators the UK bought from China could kill patients, it is reported.

Senior doctors said the ventilators had a faulty oxygen supply, couldn't be cleaned properly and had an unfamiliar design, NBC News reports.

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The medics also said the batch of ventilators had a confusing instruction manual, and was supposed to be used in ambulances rather than hospitals.

A letter, by a senior anesthesia and intensive care doctor representing clinicians and senior managers, also warned a top NHS boss the ventilators were unsafe as doctors were unfamiliar with them.

Cabinet ministers hailed the arrival of 300 ventilators from China on April 4.

The batch of highly sought-after medical gear was flown to a Ministry of Defence base at Donnington, Shropshire.


Michael Gove, the Cabinet Secretary, said the NHS had been boosted by the delivery.

Mr Gove said: "We've been buying invasive ventilators from partners abroad, including Germany and Switzerland, and today 300 new ventilators arrived from China."

He added: "I'd like to thank the Chinese government for their support in securing that capacity."

But nine days later, a group of doctors and medical managers wrote to the government to warn that 250 of the Shangrila 510 model made by Beijing Aeonmed Co. Ltd., one of China's main ventilator manufacturers, were potentially deadly.

We believe that if used, significant patient harm, including death, is likely

The April 13 letter, seen by NBC, said: "We believe that if used, significant patient harm, including death, is likely.

"We look forward to the withdrawal and replacement of these ventilators with devices better able to provide intensive care ventilation for our patients."

The shocking claim comes as Britain's death toll rose yesterday to 26,771, the second highest number of deaths in Europe behind only Italy.

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The order of ventilators from China came as Britain scrambled to boost its supply to 18,000 ahead of a feared "coronavirus peak in 10 days time".

But the oxygen supply in 250 of the batch was "variable and unreliable" and had a fabric case that could not be cleaned properly, which is vital to curb the spread of a highly infectious virus.

It is said to have arrived with a "non-E.U." oxygen connection hose.

The letter warning of the potentially deadly defects was written by a Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust doctor.

An international sales manager at Beijing Aeonmed said "I don't know" before hanging up the phone when asked by NBC News if the company knew of any concerns over the ventilator.

A Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) spokesman said the ventilator model was not being used in hospitals and that "no patients are at risk".

The spokesman added: "Ventilators need to pass robust regulatory tests to ensure they are up to standard before they're delivered to NHS hospitals.

"We currently have around 10,900 mechanical ventilators available to NHS patients across the UK, as well as 4,300 non-invasive ventilators."

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