ST. PAUL -- Companies across the country have ramped up production of medical supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including Minnesota-based 3M, which has doubled its production of N95 respirator masks and Medtronic, which has increased its ventilator production.
Medical professionals around the country have warned of a nationwide shortage of such supplies as the virus spreads across the U.S.
Since the outbreak began, 3M’s global output of N95 respirator marks has risen to over 1.1 billion per year — nearly 100 million per month, according to a prepared statement. In the U.S., 3M manufactures more than 400 million annually, while also operating in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
“This pandemic is affecting us all, and we are doing all we can to support public health and especially our first-responders and those impacted by this global health crisis,” chairman and CEO Mike Roman said in the statement. “We are mobilizing all available resources and rapidly increasing output of critical supplies healthcare workers in the United States and around the world need to help protect their lives as they treat others.”
Without enough supplies, doctors and nurses have been forced to reuse masks or make their own.
Per the release, the company is also working on “maximizing production,” of hand sanitizers and disinfectants.
Meanwhile, medical technology company Medtronic has increased its production of ventilators by more than 40%, the company said in a statement this week. The company’s operational headquarters are in Minnesota.
“No single company will be able to fill the current demands of global healthcare systems,” Bob White, executive vice president and president of the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic said. “However, with all manufacturers increasing their production and through partnerships with governments, hospitals and global health organizations, Medtronic is committed to getting more ventilators into the market and to the right locations in the world to help doctors and patients dealing with COVID-19.”
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