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Kiwi Made Emergency Care Ventilator Donated To Covid Response Efforts In Kathmandu, Nepal

Back in April 2020, during the first nation-wide lockdown, Waikato plastics manufacturer, ES Plastics Limited, rapidly designed and manufactured a Covid-19 Ventilator in an effort to combat the effects of Covid-19 on the New Zealand community and ensure a local supply of ventilators. ES Plastics utilised a team of Emergency Medicine Specialists, engineers, designers, and key business partners, with initial funding support from MBIE, Steven Tindall and Sam Morgan to get the project off the ground and within 10 days a functional ventilator was made and ready for manufacture.

In the year followed the rapid design of the RESPONSE Ventilator, ES Plastics have further developed the device to enable its use within all emergency care settings, including transport and ambulance use, beyond only Covid-19. ES Plastics Ltd was able to gain medical manufacturing certification to the industry standard ISO 13485, build a regulatory strategy for the REPSONSE Ventilator and set up a separate business unit, ESP Medical, which is a certified to contract manufacture medical devices and plastic components, leveraging off ES Plastics Ltd, 30 years’ experience within the plastic manufacturing sector.

With the effects of Covid-19 clearly visible throughout the world, particularly in developing countries, ESP Medical and Waikato Rotary Clubs, Fairfield, Morrinsville and Rototuna, got together with an initiative to donate RESPONSE Emergency Ventilators to the Covid-19 recovery efforts in Nepal. Dr Staurt Brown, a Rotary Club member, who previous to Covid was working on setting up a Hospice in Kathmandu, facilitated a virtual meeting between the receiving party in Nepal and ESP Medical. In August 2020, three RESPONSE Emergency Ventilators were headed to the Rotary Club of Kasthamandap then locally distributed to the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and the Nepal Ambulance Service. The Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital is a general public hospital that provides a referral service for people from all around the country. The Nepal Ambulance Service, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the establishment of an emergency medical response system in the greater Kathmandu municipalities with the intention to expand nationwide. ESP Medical has been in communication with both receiving parties and has had updates that the devices are installed and being used on patients suffering from respiratory insufficiency caused by Covid-19 in the ICU ward of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital and as a general emergency ventilator in Nepal’s first public Ambulance system.

The decision to donate RESPONSE Ventilators to Nepal was an easy one for ESP Medical, as the entire project was built off the intention to reduce the harmful effects of covid-19 on the community and save lives. The distribution of the RESPONSE in Kathmandu, meant the hard work and ongoing effort from the ESP Medical team and external stakeholders is paying off. 

ESP Medical intends to commercialise and distribute the REPOSNSE Emergency Ventilator to developing countries who have severely limited medical equipment, some with fewer than 5 ventilators nationally. The objective of the rapid design and manufacture of the RESPONSE was to supplying an urgent local need, now ESP Medical look forward to fulfilling that objective in nations that have this ongoing need, during the current pandemic and in the future for all conditions requiring respiratory therapy support.

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