A CONCEPT BORN FROM A WORLDWIDE NEED
ESPlastics Ltd, an ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 13485:2016 accredited manufacturing company, utilised their existing pharmaceutical platform as a gateway into mechanical ventilation development.
The team at ESPlastics New Zealand rapidly designed an effective COVID-19 response ventilator with design specifications included catering specifically to a pandemic situation such as COVID-19.
The Respirator NZ Pandemic Ventilator is manufactured on-site at ESPlastics Ltd, in Hamilton New Zealand. The componentry for the Pandemic Ventilator has been sourced from local suppliers within New Zealand, to ensure a high-quality end product. The Pandemic Ventilator is MedSafe approved for use in New Zealand and is currently in the process of obtaining international medical device registration.
Development Timeline 2020
As the effects of COVID-19 are becoming increasingly catastrophic, Jeff Sharp, Managing Director of ESPlastics Ltd reached out to his two neighbours, Dr Martyn Harvey and Dr Giles Chanwai from Hamilton, New Zealand. The three neighbours discuss ESPlastics manufacturing capabilities and what they could do to assist in an effective national and international response to COVID-19.
New Zealand moves into COVID-19 lockdown, commencing a four week nationwide lockdown period. Jeff was provided with a ventilator sample, the ‘PENLON Nuffield Series 200 Ventilator’, by his neighbours.
Using this reputable piece of historical innovation, Jeff Sharp began designing what would eventually come to be, the VC PV I, the first RespiratorNZ Pandemic Ventilator model.
Original sketch, Jeff Sharp
Original sketch, Jeff Sharp.
The first official RespiratorNZ meeting takes on Saturday morning, in the makeshift office, the ESPlastics warehouse, adhering to social distancing measures. In attendance were Jeff Sharp, Dr Giles Chanwai, Dr Martyn Harvey, Duncan Mackintosh, Nick Leigh (Designer), Gustavo Garza (Electronics Advisor) and Hillary Sharp (Project Coordinator).
At 11pm, Designers Nick Leigh and Jeff Sharp complete a marathon 48-hour design session to have the first Computer-Aided Design (CAD) models ready for 3D printing.
Jeff Sharp has a basic knowledge of respiratory and ventilator support systems as Jeff wife, Marianne (Right) has suffered from chronic respiratory problems since birth. Jeff was aware that his wife would be at risk during a global health crisis such as COVID-19, this contributed to his motivation to ensure healthcare systems in New Zealand and globally, had sufficient equipment to treat their populations.
3D prints are collected and reviewed by Dr Martyn Harvey (Left) and Jeff Sharp (Right).
Dr Harvey is the RespiratorNZ Chief Medical Advisor and the leading specialist of the COVID-19 Response Unit at Waikato Hospital, the second-largest hospital in New Zealand.
Dr Giles Chanwai (Left) and Jeff Sharp.
Presentation of Pandemic Ventilator at Waikato Hospital, New Zealand. Demonstration and In-Vitro test viewed by Chief Medical Officer, Dr GL Hopgood.
First In-Vivo testing of the Pandemic Ventilator on 60kg Sheep at Ruakura Testing Facility, Hamilton, New Zealand. The 60kg sheep has the bioequivalence and lung capacity of a 50-60kg human. In-Vivo test was reviewed and approved by the Ruakura Animal Ethics Committee. The follow-up report discussed the admirable performability of the Pandemic Ventilator and adaptability when altering the parameters.
3D Printing of the Pandemic Ventilator model VC PV II begins.
VC PV II, Production injection mould is completed and manufacturing of plastic moulded parts commences.
14 Day Durability Cycle Test begins in ESPlastics Ltd, GMP cleanroom.