New Order Tracks and Inventories Ohio’s Ventilators

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — An order signed by Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Deparment of Health, will track the number of ventilators and their locations within the state.

The data will allow the state to move ventilators where they need to be should certain areas experience shortages during the surge of the coronavirus pandemic, said Gov. Mike DeWine during his daily update. The order includes other machines that provide breathing assistance, including CPAP and BPAP machines, as well as treatment masks and tubing, he said.

Starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, any entity involved in the ventilator supply chain – including manufacturers, producers, wholesalers, transporters, distributors, retailers, clinicians, physicians, hospitals and other medical facilities – must make weekly reports online at Coronavirus.ohio.gov/ventinventory of existing inventories.

Equipment includes CPAP and BPAP machines, anesthetic machines, medical ventilators, bag valve masks, nasal cannulas, laryngeal mask airways, endotracheal tubes and tracheostomy/trach/tracheal tubes. Exceptions are ventilators and other equipment owned by an individual for personal use, as well as those in transit across the state and not destined to stay in Ohio, DeWine said.

Hospitals are also expected to report daily ventilator data to the Ohio Hospital Association via the reporting tool, DeWine noted.

The state is “also working independently of this to secure more ventilators in Ohio,” DeWine said. Given the short supply of the equipment, however, the state is having the same experience as the other 49 states trying to do the same thing, he acknowledged.

The state is working with Ohio companies looking to make ventilators, and DeWine will have a report in the next few days on where the state stands on its supply of ventilators and other equipment.

“We’re taking every opportunity out there to figure this out,” he said.

Since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the full capability of technology produced by Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, to sterilize N95 respirator masks, the nonprofit research company has sterilized its first batch of 3,500 Monday night, noted Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. Battelle is ramping up its efforts as it gets more masks from hospitals in the state, he said.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.