Mercedes, F1 help produce breathing aids for NHS in coronavirus fight
F1's Project Pitlane sees Mercedes play key role in developing breathing aids for NHS trials in "rapid timeframe"
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 30/03/20 2:03pm
Mercedes have helped produce a breathing aid that can help keep Covid-19 patients out of intensive care as part of F1's newly-launched Project Pitlane.
Following Friday's announcement that all seven British-based F1 teams will coordinate their efforts to help develop medical equipment in the fight against coronavirus, Mercedes Brixworth engine base has helped develop a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device alongside the medical sector which has been approved for use in the NHS.
The breathing aid was produced in fewer than 1000 hours in conjunction with Mercedes High Performance Powertrains, mechanical engineers at University College London, and clinicians and University College London Hospitals.
One hundred devices are to be delivered to UCLH to start clinical trials "with rapid roll-out" to hospitals.
"The Formula 1 community has shown an impressive response to the call for support, coming together in the 'Project Pitlane' collective to support the national need at this time across a number of different projects," said Andy Cowell, managing director of Mercedes HPP.
"We have been proud to put our resources at the service of UCL to deliver the CPAP project to the highest standards and in the fastest possible timeframe."
UCLH critical care consultant Professor Mervyn Singer said: "These devices will help to save lives by ensuring that ventilators, a limited resource, are used only for the most severely ill.
"While they will be tested at UCLH first, we hope they will make a real difference to hospitals across the UK by reducing demand on intensive care staff and beds, as well as helping patients recover without the need for more invasive ventilation."