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U.S. Nonprofit VentilatorSOS Sends International Shipments of Sleep Apnea Devices to Serve as Ventilator Replacements in Pandemic Hot Spots

Group Seeks Partner for Funding, Logistics Support in Sending Modified Sleep Apnea Devices to Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and throughout the U.S.

BERKELEY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–VentilatorSOS, a project of the nonprofit Survivors for Good, which pioneered the design to modify unused sleep apnea devices to address the ventilator shortage during the pandemic, announced today the successful shipment of devices to pandemic hot spots around the world. The first international shipments will help COVID-19 patients in Ecuador, Haiti and Malawi – extending across the globe what was initially a domestic effort to fight an enemy that knows no borders.

This milestone demonstrates the power of collaboration – an effort driven by engineers, doctors, universities, and corporations both domestic and international. VentilatorSOS is now seeking a partner for the next phase of its mission to meet the growing needs around the world and build upon its initial success. There are many millions of unused sleep apnea machines in the U.S. and these can readily be made available to people all around the world.

“Anecdotally, doctors who have used the devices estimate that by having the modified sleep apnea solutions they’re able to keep one-third of patients off ventilators who otherwise would have to use them,” said Wayne Delker, a VentilatorSOS team organizer and past executive director of the Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership at UC Berkeley College of Engineering. “Given that the majority of patients who are put on ventilators don’t survive, this option can save a lot of lives.”

With the World Health Organization declaring Latin America and the Caribbean a new pandemic epicenter, and with a shortage of ventilators amid rising deaths, Ecuador reached out to VentilatorSOS. Through partnerships, VentilatorSOS has shipped 250 units to the Public Health Office in Quito, where they will be cleaned, sanitized and then deployed to both public and private hospitals across the country.

“Our hospitals are treating many coronavirus patients and we need these devices. We are fortunate to be working with this international effort of doctors and universities who are committed to sharing resources and saving lives,” said Dr. Michelle Grunauer Andrade, dean of the School of Medicine at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) in Quito, Ecuador, and member of the national emergency committee working with the country’s Public Health Office.

VentilatorSOS is also shipping a total of 200 devices to Haiti and is partnering with Baylor University to assist doctors in Malawi.

When COVID-19 began overwhelming hospitals in March, VentilatorSOS identified an opportunity to address equipment shortages to save lives across the world. Since inception, it has received millions of dollars worth of donated sleep apnea units from all over the U.S. In addition to leadership by key universities and hospitals, Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, built the online donation tracking system and Apogee, leader in home delivery, aided with receiving and delivering of devices.

To support VentilatorSOS and the mission to save lives globally from the COVID-19 pandemic, individual donations can be made through GoFundMe.


VentilatorSOS, a project of the nonprofit Survivors for Good, is a group of engineers and doctors that came together to provide a ventilator solution during the pandemic-related shortage. The group was initially started under the UC Berkeley College of Engineering. For more information on VentilatorSOS, visit the website at


Christina Khoury


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