After malfunctions in a type of artificial lung ventilator used in Russia and also exported to countries including the US, the machine’s manufacturer has recalled a recently produced batch for “additional testing.”
The Aventa-M model is suspected of having started two deadly blazes in Moscow and Saint Petersburg hospitals last month, in which seven patients died. READ MORE: Russia BANS usage of ventilators suspected of causing deadly fires killing six Covid-19 patients
The incidents occurred after production of the equipment was ratcheted up to meet demand during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
The ventilators made international headlines in April when Russia flew a batch to the United States as medical aid. Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov called the shipment a “humanitarian mission” and declared that Russia providing help to the US was the “continuation of a centuries-old tradition.” However, according to US officials, the ventilators were never used.
They are made at the Ural Instrument Engineering Plant, about 1,500km east of Moscow. The plant is owned by Concern Radio‑Electronic Technologies (KRET), a company belonging to Russia’s state-owned conglomerate Rostech.
Following fires last month at the S.I. Spasokukotsky City Clinical Hospital in Moscow and St George’s Hospital in St Petersburg, the country’s health watchdog Roszdravnadzor indefinitely suspended use of the ventilators. Reports suggested that the machines could be responsible. One month later, the company has recalled its devices that were produced after April 1, for “additional testing.”