The respirator race: how manufacturers are repurposing for Covid-19

With racing season postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Formula 1 teams in the UK have repurposed themselves to manufacture medical devices to aid in the crisis. Chloe Kent takes a look at this effort, and others, to find out how a diverse range of industries are tackling the challenges brought on by the crisis.


or Covid-19 patients with the very worst symptoms of the disease, a ventilator can offer their best chance of survival. The machines take over when the lungs can’t function on their own anymore, via a tube inserted into the patient’s airway. Reports of the survival rates of ventilated patients have varied, from just 34% to as high as 90%, but its undebatable that the global death toll of the disease would be far higher without them.

The surge in the number of ventilators and related breathing apparatus now required across the globe has led many manufacturers to repurpose their non-essential assembly lines to build these devices instead – some more successfully than others.

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