Bloom Energy Corp. and Almo Corporation are joining forces to refurbish unused, out-of-warranty ventilators and ship them to state agencies and hospitals as patients experiencing critical respiratory issues stemming from 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 and from Bloom’s manufacturing facilities in California and Delaware for refurbishment and out to the state agencies and hospitals with the greatest need.
Bloom will still assemble its fuel cells at the plants.
Bloom spokesperson Natalia Blank said ventilators have been shipped to Delaware for refurbishment.
The Society of Critical Care Medicine estimates that 960,000 coronavirus patients in the U.S. may need to be placed on ventilators with only about 200,000 working machines available. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, there are 12,700 ventilators in the national “stockpile.” 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 the refurbished ventilators. If all works out, the ventilators can be more quickly deployed than new ventilators to be built by GM, Tesla and other companies.
“This is our call to action,” said Bloom Energy founder 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.”
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 refurbish 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 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.”
Almo, a national distributor of appliances, A/V equipment, furniture and housewares, has more than 2.5 million square feet of distribution space in eight warehouses across the country.
“Our focus has always been on family — the health and safety of our local community and people of this nation is our priority now and we want to do what we can to help in this time of crisis,” said Warren Chaiken, president and CEO, Almo Corporation. “Our logistics processes are organized and efficient, which puts us in a great position to receive the refurbished ventilators from Bloom and quickly get them to state agencies and healthcare facilities so they can be immediately put to use.”
If you have or know of any organizations that have out-of-service ventilators, would like to partner with Bloom and Almo on this effort, or to learn more, visit www.bloomenergy.com/ventilators, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1 (888) 544-2644