Bloom Energy Corp. and Almo Corp. said March 28 they are working to refurbish unused, out-of-warranty ventilators and ship them to state agencies and hospitals throughout the country, particularly as an increasing number of patients experience critical respiratory issues as a result of COVID-19.
As part of this process, Bloom is refurbishing the ventilators, while Almo is using its national logistics network to ship the ventilators to/from Bloom’s manufacturing facilities in California and Delaware for refurbishment and out to the state agencies and hospitals that need them the most.
The Society of Critical Care Medicine estimates that 960,000 coronavirus patients in the U.S. may need to be put on ventilators, but there are only about 200,000 such working machines available1. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there are 12,700 ventilators in the national “stockpile.” And thousands more sit idle, having reached their end-of-service life.
Bloom is working with biomedical engineers at Stanford Health Care to test the functionality of its refurbished ventilators.
“This is our call to action,” said Bloom Energy founder, chairman, and CEO KR Sridhar. “We have to help. Manufacturing is in our DNA and we believe that it allows our country to stand strong, especially during a time of crisis and need. Like our customers and the communities we serve, we are strong and we are resilient.”
Just last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom reached out to Sridhar for support. By Friday, the State had given Bloom Energy 24 unused ventilators that had been idle. Overnight, Bloom engineers figured out how to fix them and completely refurbished all 24 by Saturday afternoon. With that turnaround time, the Company estimates it could refurbish up to one thousand a week.
“Bloom Energy is stepping up to meet this moment,” said California Governor Gavin Newsom. “This is a great story about Californians looking out for each other. Ventilators provide the most effective intervention for COVID-19 patients in critical care, and the units being refurbished here will save lives.”
“One plus one plus one is greater than three,” said Sridhar. “Community isn’t defined just by physical proximity; it’s coming together in a time of need to act in the interest of the greater good. That’s what this partnership represents, and we certainly welcome others to join.”