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British Doctors Warn Some Chinese Ventilators Could Kill If Used in Hospitals

"We believe that if used, significant patient harm, including death, is likely"

In this March 24, 2020, file photo stacks of medical supplies are housed at the Jacob Javits Center that will become a temporary hospital in response to the COVID-19 outbreak in New York.
AP Photo/John Minchillo, File

Senior British doctors have warned that 250 ventilators the United Kingdom bought from China risk causing "significant patient harm, including death," if they are used in hospitals, according to a letter seen by NBC News.

The doctors said the machines had a problematic oxygen supply, could not be cleaned properly, had an unfamiliar design and a confusing instruction manual, and were built for use in ambulances, not hospitals.

"We believe that if used, significant patient harm, including death, is likely," according to an April 13 letter seen by NBC News. "We look forward to the withdrawal and replacement of these ventilators with devices better able to provide intensive care ventilation for our patients."

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The British case is not an isolated one. Since March, many governments have been scrambling to buy more medical equipment — much of it from China — to make up for large gaps in their supplies. While much of this equipment has been vital in combating the coronavirus pandemic, some has been faulty or unsuitable.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com

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