Louisville plants won’t be part of race to manufacture ventilators

Louisville plants won’t be part of race to manufacture ventilators

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It is the one piece of equipment that can make the difference between life and death, but ventilators are in dangerously short supply, leaving some states begging for them.

Companies like Ford and General Electric are vowing to help manufacture them as quickly as possible, but that is not going to have an impact on Louisville’s assembly plants at all.

To New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, production could not come soon enough, even as his state received 400 new ventilators this week from the federal government.

New York is the hardest hit state so far, with roughly 30,000 positive cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday.

“What am I going to do with 400 ventilators when I need 30,000?” Cuomo asked during a press conference.

New York's latest shipment is about as many ventilators as the three largest hospitals in Louisville have altogether.

As WAVE 3 News Troubleshooters reported Tuesday, Norton Health has about 200 ventilators, UofL has 170 and Baptist has 73 in the Kentuckiana area, for a total of 443.

Norton just spent $5 million purchasing new ones, while the other two healthcare providers are continuing to find ways to get more, even if that means leasing them.

Norton said the canceling of elective surgeries has helped free up some supplies, including the sedatives for the ventilators.

GE Health said it is working with Ford on a simplified version of the ventilators GE Health already makes to accelerate production, but did not say how many ventilators it would have or by when.

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