July 17, 2020

Even Under COVID-19, "Keep Providing Medical Suction Equipment". Efforts by OMRON Employees in Italy

Solving Social Issues during the COVID-19 Pandemic②

While Italy struggles to weather the storm against the coronavirus, OMRON Healthcare's development and production site in Italy, 3A HEALTH CARE S.R.L: hereinafter (OHA), works full steam ahead to meet the rampant demand of surgical aspirators. What are these devices and why are they key in the fight against COVID-19?

In April 2020, the Italian government has taken measures to strengthen the healthcare system by identifying "Medical Device Manufacturing" as an essential business. This decision made possible that a team of 16 deeply committed colleagues from OHA could return to their workstations -following strict safety protocols- in the pursuit of a challenge of paramount importance: equipping hospitals with surgical aspirators, a necessity in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic. Although we hear a lot about ventilators these days, few has been said about surgical aspirators. What is so special about them?

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Surgical aspirators are used to clear blood, mucus, body fluids and gas from patients' airways, so that they can breathe easily again. In particular, the removal of these secretions is vital if a person has to be connected to a ventilator, because patients under mechanical ventilation cannot cough or sneeze, the natural mechanisms the body uses to get rid of common fluids. Considering that Italy has seen its toll on intensive care beds soar almost above capacity, helping hospitals provide the best treatment possible to speed up recovery may draw the line between life and death.

OHA's long-established experience in manufacturing surgical aspirators dates back to 1995. The operating principle of a surgical aspirator is to evacuate blood, fluid, solid particles, and other substances through a suction tip, via plastic tubing to a drainage container using negative pressure generated by a vacuum pump, and it's the same principle applied to the nasal aspirators from OMRON Healthcare's state-of-the-art range of nebulizers.

However, what is so special about OHA offer? As it turns out, the fact that they are portable plays a key role in coping with the pandemic. In order to avoid the uncontrolled entry of non-diagnosed and seriously ill patients, Italian hospitals created external IC units, where they conduct the "triage" of incoming patients, where they receive medical attention until they are diagnosed and admitted. Because these external emergency units are actually built on the street, there are not proper air systems in place to operate all necessary standard equipment. The portable OHA Aspirator is an excellent solution to this problem. It is normally use within ambulances and therefore suits very well these new social needs.

The fact that OHA's demand of surgical aspirators by hospitals has sky-rocketed during the outbreak unveils the huge social need for convenient, effective, mobile and high-quality respiratory treatment. As a leader in respiratory treatment devices for home and professional use, OMRON Healthcare plays an important role in helping people live healthier and more active lives without being defined or limited by their condition. OHA's quick reaction and bravery amid the turbulence evidences how strong OMRON Healthcare Europe's "zero compromise on healthier lives" vision is.