Some Chinese coronavirus ventilators ‘could kill patients’ if used in the UK, several senior British doctors have warned.
According to a letter seen by NBC News, doctors have warned about 250 ventilators that the UK bought from China.
The doctors reportedly warned that the machines were intended for use on ambulances and not in hospitals, and had several issues including a problematic oxygen supply, an unfamiliar design, and couldn’t be cleaned properly.
According to NBC News, the letter 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 letter was written by several senior doctors, including an intensive care doctor at the Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, according to NBC News.
While it remains unclear who saw the letter, the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed to NBC News that it was aware of the concerns raised in the letter.
Thankfully, the department confirmed that none of the ventilators are currently in use in the UK.
A statement to NBS News said: "We are leading a coordinated effort to rapidly increase ventilator capacity and ensure these vital pieces of equipment are delivered to the frontline.
"Patient safety is our absolute priority and new orders are all dependent on machines passing robust regulatory tests to ensure they are up to standard."
Ventilators are used to take over the body's breathing process in coronavirus patients whose lungs are failing.
Michael Gove said the NHS now has more than 8,000 ventilators and the government aims to increase capacity.