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Dräger Expands Capacity For Respiratory Masks As It Sets Up Production Facility In UK

Dräger has received an order from the British government to deliver respiratory protection masks (FFP3) in order to help protect emergency health professionals on the frontline as they continue to respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

With provision starting this year and lasting right up until the end of 2021, the expected net profit of sales is expected to reach roughly EUR 100 million.

In a bid to stimulate more economic activity within the UK, Dräger has decided to keep production in the Blyth area of Northumberland, where it has had a development and production site for respiratory protection technology for firefighters and industry for over 50 years.

In addition to the existing production network in Sweden and South Africa, and the recently decided new production sites in France and the US, this means that there will be a considerable percentage of high quality respiratory protection masks available on the market for emergency health care professionals, manufactured by a company with a long history of expertise within that specific industry.

The investment into the expansion of production capacities across all five production sites will require a mid-double-digit million euro amount in the 2020 financial year.

Rainer Klug,
Chief Officer of Safety Division,
Dräger

Rainer Klug, Chief Officer of Safety Division at Dräger said: “We are very pleased about the major order from the British government.’

“It gives us the opportunity to expand our international production network for FFP masks. With this additional production unit, Dräger will increase volumes quickly and flexibly.’

“Our international production network enables us to react very quickly and specifically to national or local requirements on the one hand, and to cover international requirements in a closely networked and flexible manner on the other.’

“Dräger thus operates a highly responsive manufacturing system for certified FFP respiratory protection masks, with a product design originating from our own development in Germany”.

Bubble Screen Creates Additional Protection for Ambulance Volunteers & Patients

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North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has introduced plastic screening for its team of volunteer drivers to help keep them and their patients safe amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

More than 150 people volunteer with NEAS as ambulance car service (ACS) drivers, using their own vehicles to help transport patients to and from hospitals and clinics, which keeps ambulances free for emergencies and for patients too ill to travel by car.

Of those, some are currently shielding until the end of June as part of Government guidance during the Coronavirus epidemic, but a core team of 69 are still volunteering their time to support patients who are still travelling in and out of hospital for life-saving treatment, such as chemotherapy and dialysis.

NEAS Volunteer Bob Pattison shows the bubble screen in use

During the current climate, all drivers are provided with masks, gloves and alcohol gel to keep themselves and their patients safe. However, the Trust has now gone one step further by working with international firm Driver Bubble to introduce plastic screens into volunteers’ cars following a successful trial in May.

Made of durable, flexible PVC plastic, the bubble screen is secured behind the front seats of the vehicle to create a protective shield between the driver and passenger.

A close-up of Bob with the bubble screen

The bubble screen was trialled by 54-year-old ACS driver Bob Pattinson, of Blyth, who began volunteering with NEAS in November 2017 after a career in the military. 

He said: “As well as keeping ourselves safe, we’re trying to do our best to keep patients safe and I think this is a real asset to help us do that. 

“I’ve had some really positive feedback from my patients. One lady told me she had felt quite apprehensive about getting in a car with everything that’s going on but that this really helped put her at ease and made her feel much safer.”

James Fenwick, of Ashington, relies on the ambulance car service three times a week for dialysis treatment at the RVI. He said: “I hadn’t even noticed the screen at first, but it definitely makes you feel safe, it’s a canny idea.”

Deputy Chief Executive Paul Liversidge, who oversees the volunteer development team leading on this project, said: “The safety of all staff and volunteers working for and supporting our service is paramount and we’re doing all we can to protect them and the patients we serve during the current Coronavirus pandemic. Introducing these screens is the next step in helping us do this.

“We are very grateful to Bob for trialling the screen for us and, with his help, we have been able to tweak the design to suit our needs. We’re now also investigating whether the screens could be modified further to make them suitable for some of our other vehicles.”