Five State Treasurers Call On Manufacturers To Release Ventilator Repair Manuals

Hospitals should be able to make repairs to ventilators to serve more patients, treasurers say


Harrisburg, PA - Pennsylvania Treasurer Joe Torsella today joined with Delaware Treasurer Colleen Davis, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs, Rhode Island Treasurer General Seth Magaziner, and Colorado Treasurer Dave Young to call on manufacturers of ventilators to release service manuals to repair ventilators, for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic. Without this critically important information, hospitals are unable to make repairs to ventilators, rendering them unusable during a time of dire need.


“In a public health crisis, every second counts. There shouldn’t be a single ventilator sitting in a closet because a hospital, already under extreme pressure, isn’t able to make necessary repairs to it. I call on manufacturers of this lifesaving equipment to release this information and remove this barrier that hospitals are facing.”


Pennsylvania State Treasurer, Joe Torsella

In a letter, the treasurers expressed their concern for hospitals that have ventilators in stock, but are unable to use them due to repairs that are needed. It is of particular concern that rural or needy hospitals that may use secondhand equipment without a service contract are unable to make their own repairs without the proper manuals from the manufacturers.


“Having enough ventilators to care for critically ill patients is vital. If the ventilators malfunction and operators don’t have manuals on how to make repairs, the results could be tragic.”


Delaware State Treasurer, Colleen Davis

The American Hospital Association has estimated that 960,000 Americans with COVID-19 will require treatment using a ventilator, while there are only 170,000 ventilators in the United States.


“These ventilators are a matter of life or death for people fighting COVID-19. With a national shortage of ventilators, it is incomprehensible that these life-saving devices are sitting in hospitals across the country waiting to be fixed. Today, I call on ventilator manufacturers to step up and help hospitals address these desperately needed ventilator repairs.”


Illinois State Treasurer, Michael Frerichs

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group recently delivered a petition with 43,000 signatures to 25 ventilator manufacturers, asking them to release service manuals, service keys, and schematics, as part of its ongoing Right to Repair campaign. While some manufacturers have taken meaningful steps, state treasurers are asking all ventilator manufacturers to release all necessary information to repair ventilators, immediately. 


“Every resource must be made available to fight this pandemic. To protect public health, manufacturers must make ventilator repair manuals publicly available, as soon as possible. The information could save lives.”


Rhode Island General Treasurer, Seth Magaziner

Repair information is not made readily available by manufacturers, limiting who can fix the equipment when it malfunctions. Releasing these manuals during this crisis would empower hospitals to take matters into their own hands, treat more patients in critical condition, and protect third party repair companies from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19 when making repairs.


"Our hospitals are working hard to keep every existing ventilator in service. Anything to expedite the ability to repair current ventilators is critical to saving lives, in Colorado and across the country."


Colorado State Treasurer, Dave Young

Media contacts: 
Ashley Matthews, Pennsylvania, 717-585-7303 or amatthews@patreasury.gov 
Carl Kanefsky, Delaware, carl.kanefsky@delaware.gov
Paris Ervin, Illinois, PErvin@illinoistreasurer.gov
Evan England, Rhode Island, evan.england@treasury.ri.gov
Leah Marvin-Riley, Colorado, leah.marvin-riley@state.co.us

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