Ventilators sent to the United States by Russia to help treat COVID-19 patients are the same model that reportedly caused two deadly fires in Russian hospitals, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said on May 12.
The devices were never deployed to U.S. hospitals and are being returned to the federal government “out of an abundance of caution,“ FEMA spokeswoman Janet Montesi said in a statement.
The machines were delivered to New York and New Jersey, the U.S. states hardest hit by the coronavirus, but “the flattening curve meant these ventilators were not needed,” Montesi said.
The statement comes after Russia’s health-care regulator, Roszdravnadzor, started checking the devices, which are widely used for treating serious COVID-19 cases.
“Roszdravnadzor is checking the quality and safety of the ventilation units installed in the hospitals where the fires took place,” the regulator said in a May 12 statement that came just hours after a fire in