Demcon provides air in corona crisis
In the first months of the corona crisis, it was exciting whether the Netherlands would be able to organise sufficient capacity in intensive care (IC), where corona patients are on artificial respiration. With the help of Germany, this seems to have been achieved. However, a second wave of infections and hospital admissions cannot be ruled out now that the lockdown has eased. So there remains a great need for ventilation systems in the Netherlands, and worldwide. Technology developer and manufacturer Demcon, based at Kennispark since 2013, has responded quickly.
Within a month, Demcon succeeded in developing, producing and testing a complete ventilation system in the Netherlands that is suitable for the ventilation of coronary patients. In mid-May, Demcon-CEO Dennis Schipper handed over the first DemcAir ventilation system to Minister Martin van Rijn, responsible for Medical Care and Sport. The system is based on the unique ventilation technology developed by Demcon macawi respiratory systems for use with every patient, from preterm to adult. The individual respiratory modules have been in production at Demcon for many years and have now been significantly scaled up.
‘Government shows guts’
So now Demcon has developed a fully-fledged ventilation system for (young) adults in addition to these modules. “The government has had the courage to place an order for 500 pieces with us”, says Schipper. “For we have already gained a lot of knowledge and experience with ventilation technology and modules, but we had never delivered a complete ventilation system. In particular, our expertise in quality control and experience in certifying medical products was crucial”.
System of vital importance for IC
Skipper is proud that Demcon has been able to realize this in such an exceptionally short time. “Our employees, with all possible efforts and sometimes working day and night, have lived up to that trust of the government. Because even though we have built it as simple as possible, it is and remains a complex system. Such a ventilation system is vital for ICU care, must be 100% safe for the patient and easy to use by doctors and nurses. We have therefore paid a great deal of attention to safety and ease of operation and have tested it carefully. I am pleased that in this way we can contribute to the great challenge of the moment, the optimal treatment of patients. This is in our DNA, the use of technological knowledge to solve social issues”.
Oral mask machine development
The DemcAir ventilation system was created thanks to intensive cooperation, emphasises Schipper. “To begin with, within our company, between numerous colleagues spread over different locations. But also with the government, three hospitals and more than forty industrial partners, including the necessary suppliers from Twente. Heartwarming is also the support we were offered by other companies and private individuals”. By now, Demcon industrial solutions is well advanced with the development and construction of a mouth mask machine.