LAKE NORMAN OF CATAWBA, N.C. — A local medical device company that normally manufactures transplant equipment is now working overtime to make ventilators to help save COVID-19 patients.

The Lake Norman area company has been working around the clock for the last week and they now have a prototype of a ventilator they’re getting ready to produce – and they're working with people in the NASCAR industry to pull it off.

“It’s been all hands on deck 24/7, there’s not been a lot of sleep.”

Sherif Gabriel is the CEO of BioMed Innovations in Denver. They normally make equipment that helps with transplants but they abruptly switched gears to help in the COVID-19 crisis.

“Seven days ago we realized that the core technology in our profusion system could be utilized to make a highly efficient low-cost ventilator and ideally help COVID-19 patients,” said Sherif Gabriel.

The numbers show just how desperate the need is for more ventilators. WCNC Charlotte asked both North and South Carolina how many ventilators there are in our area.

Chester, York and Lancaster counties there are just 46 ventilators available. We are still waiting on the North Carolina numbers.

That’s why Gabriel said they are fast-tracking things as much as possible. They’ve already got a prototype, they’re just waiting for FDA approval and then will work with another local industry and motorsports teams to actually make them.

“They’ll help us manufacture the parts as well as assembling these ventilators.”

Gabriel said his team is anxious to help as many people as possible.

“Its been phenomenal both exciting and exhausting at the same time were thrilled to make such a contribution.”

They hope to start producing ventilators in the next two weeks. They’ll make a thousand a week and many will stay right here in the Charlotte area.

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