DUBLIN, March 18, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Medtronic plc (NYSE:MDT), the global leader in medical technology, today announcedthat it will more than double its capacity to manufacture and supply ventilators, in response to the urgent needs of patients and healthcare system across the globe as we confront the COVID-19 virus.

Medtronic recognizes the acute need for ventilators as life-saving devices in the management of COVID-19 infections. Ventilators can play a critical role in the management of patients with severe respiratory illness, such as COVID-19, who require assistance because they cannot breathe effectively. By placing a patient on a ventilator, the patient’s lungs are permitted to rest and recover while the ventilator performs the functions of supplying oxygen and simulating the actions of breathing. Without ventilation support, some patients with severe respiratory disease might not survive.

For over 60 years, Medtronic has built its industry leading technology in pursuit of its foundational Mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life. Medtronic is an industry leader in respiratory care and device innovation. The company has ventilators designed for a variety of care settings, including the acute segment (in-hospital patients in intensive care units, emergency departments or on the general care floors) and the sub-acute segment (out of hospital, long-term care facilities or home-ventilated patients). Medtronic manufactures the Puritan Bennett™ 980 (PB 980) and Puritan Bennett™ 840 (PB 840) ventilators in Galway, Ireland. The PB 980 and PB 840 ventilators are primarily designed for critically ill patients in high acuity setting. A COVID-19 patient (with or without an underlying health issue) could be such a critically ill patient.

Medtronic Demand and Supply
COVID-19 is a global issue. Ventilator demand has significantly increased in light of COVID-19, and Medtronic is currently working to meet this increased global demand. Ventilator manufacturing is a complex process that relies on a skilled workforce, a global supply chain, and an experienced clinical training team. To ensure patient safety, ventilator manufacturing also must comply with regulatory agency requirements around the globe.

In recent weeks, Medtronic has doubled the number of shifts in the manufacturing of the PB 980 and PB 840 ventilators and has identified additional opportunities to further increase its ventilator manufacturing capacity. In the company’s Galway, Ireland ventilator manufacturing facility, there are currently over 250 employees dedicated to ventilator manufacturing and plan to more than double that number. Additional manufacturing shifts have been put in place and new manufacturing shift patterns are being introduced to bring the plant to 24/7 operation to produce more ventilators. Additional staff are being transferred from other Medtronic sites to support our ramp up activities. With a strong commitment across Medtronic and our suppliers combined with our increased staffing, the company expects to be able to more than double our manufacturing capacity for ventilators.

Medtronic is prioritizing high risk/high needs areas for ventilator allocation on a weekly basis for global distribution through our supply chain. This is a dynamic global issue, and Medtronic will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates to our employees, customers and investors as the situation warrants.

“Medtronic recognizes the demand for ventilators in this environment has far outstripped supply,” said Bob White, executive vice president and president of the Minimally Invasive Therapies Group at Medtronic. “No single company will be able to fill the current demands of global healthcare systems. 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.”

About Medtronic
Medtronic plc (www.medtronic.com), headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, is among the world’s largest medical technology, services and solutions companies – alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world. Medtronic employs more than 90,000 people worldwide, serving physicians, hospitals and patients in more than 150 countries. The company is focused on collaborating with stakeholders around the world to take healthcare Further, Together.

Any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties such as those described in Medtronic's periodic reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Actual results may differ materially from anticipated results.

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