The device, which has now received approval from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, aims to avoid the need for admitting patients into Intensive Care Unit. It has been designed by Dr Rhys Thomas, a senior consultant at Glangwili Hospital, and Maurice Clarke of Ammanford engineering firm CR Clarke & Co.
The first multiple production of the CPAP unit is being supported by the Welsh Government and Industry Wales. Both have been working closely with supply chain companies to source and purchase the parts needed for this potentially lifesaving device.
The CPAP unit provides a controlled flow of positive pressure, highly oxygenated air to coronavirus patients, helping to improve their blood oxygen levels.
The new set of CPAP units will continue to be rigorously tested over coming days.
Should the tests be successful, the Welsh Government will look to work with Dr Rhys Thomas and CR Clarke & Co to facilitate further production of the device in South Wales, which could then see them being utilised in hospitals and care settings in Wales, the UK and beyond.
Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales, Ken Skates said:
“The coronavirus pandemic means that more than ever Welsh Government needs to take proactive action to support the brilliant innovative thinking out there in Welsh industry.
“Dr Thomas and CR Clarke & Co have worked quickly and brilliantly to devise a product which could potentially save thousands of lives as we face the challenge of coronavirus, and the Welsh Government and Industry Wales have been proud to support this process.
“By sourcing and purchasing parts we have been able to help accelerate the rapid production of the new set of CPAP units in preparation for stringent testing. Should these further tests be successful, we will of course work quickly to see production of this device accelerated.
“I want to thank Dr Thomas and CR Clarke & Co for their efforts, and I encourage the business community to be innovative in coming up with new ways of beating covid-19, and assure them that the Welsh Government is here to support their efforts.
“Wales has so much talent and fantastic skills and by working together we can play our part in fighting this virus for the benefit of people at home and abroad.”