Penlon, VentilatorChallengeUK and the ESO 2 Emergency Ventilator

The continuing story of Penlon, VentilatorChallengeUK and the ESO 2 Emergency Ventilator

ESO-2-testing-9856-700x525 (1)

On January 29th 2020 two Chinese nationals staying at a hotel in York, UK, fell ill. They would become the first recorded UK cases of the COVID-19 pandemic, an aggressive strain of the coronavirus that had not been previously identified in humans. As the virus took hold, so too did the demand for equipment to treat the sick. By mid-March, the Government had established that up to 30,000 ventilators may be required for the UK’s COVID-19 patients. It would soon become apparent that this was a serious issue because the UK does not make a suitable critical care ventilator, while established international providers were struggling to cope with their own domestic and international demand.

On March 17th the UK Government issued a ‘call to arms.’ An appropriate technology specification was drafted and the Rapid Manufacture Ventilator System ‘RMVS’ was conceived. Using its ventilation expertise, Penlon quickly responded by proposing the ESO 2 Emergency Ventilator, based on the existing AV-S anaesthesia ventilator platform.

The purpose of the ESO 2 is to save lives by ventilating the sickest patients until they are strong enough to be transferred to one of the limited number of ICU ventilators available for recovery. The first ESO 2 prototype was demonstrated less than a week later and the ‘Ventilator Challenge UK’ consortium was formed to manufacture the ESO 2 in large numbers.


Penlon HQ, proudly displaying the “VentilatorChallengeUK” logo

In a matter of days, Penlon successfully transformed the company from a daytime batch production business to a 24/7 operation providing technical back-up to the consortium manufacturing sites and final testing and despatch of the ESO 2 to the NHS.


ESO 2s on the production line

By April 13th, after receiving MHRA approval, the first ESO 2 production units were despatched and just a few days later, installed at the newly established 4000 bed NHS Nightingale Hospital in London.


ESO 2s ready to be shipped to the NHS Nightingale Hospitals

Today the company’s UK factory in Oxfordshire is dedicated completely to the ESO 2 project. Penlon’s regular business of Anaesthesia Systems, Patient Monitoring, Laryngoscopes and Suction and Oxygen Therapy will only recommence when the ESO 2 delivery objectives have been met. Thereafter, Penlon plans to offer the ESO 2 overseas, wherever the need for COVID-19 treatment exists.

Penlon’s Head of Products and Marketing, Craig Thompson, said,

We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to dedicate our lives, 24/7, to the task of making the ESO 2 for the NHS. We would also like to pay tribute to the dedication of NHS staff, the Penlon workforce, Ventilator Challenge UK members, and all key workers around the world.

Longer-term, with an exciting future, Penlon believes that a UK manufactured, ICU ventilator would help in any future pandemic and the company are investigating how the development of this product can be funded. Penlon is looking to the future, and to establishing itself as a world-class manufacturer of Anaesthesia and Respiratory devices for the global market.

A copy of this article was published on the ABHI website on 21st May 2020.

POSTED: 26/05/2020
Coronavirus Ventilator
SHARE: Facebook X LinkedIn
dots background dots background
Similar Stories
DSC_9906-700px 17/08/2020

Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium’s achievements recognized by the Royal Academy of Engineering

Ventilator Challenge UK Consortium presented with a President’s Special Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering for their part in tackling COVID-19.

Read More
SPpenlon07-700x525 06/07/2020

VentilatorChallengeUK consortium ends after delivering 13,437 ventilators to the NHS

VentilatorChallengeUK marks the end of the consortium after delivering 13,437 ventilators to the NHS

Read More
ESO-2-CE-Mark-Approval-700x525 25/06/2020

Penlon ESO 2 Receives CE Mark Approval for the treatment of COVID-19 patients

The Penlon ESO 2 Emergency Ventilator today received internationally recognised CE Mark approval for the treatment of COVID-19 patients

Read More
_Tim-Rance-9922-700x525 12/06/2020

From the Production Line: Tim Rance

Tim Rance, Production Manager at Penlon, talks about the ESO 2 Emergency Ventilator, the VentilatorChallengeUK (VCUK) consortium and working at Penlon during the coronavirus pandemic.

Read More