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Ford ships powered air-purifying respirators to health care workers amid pandemic

Ford, 3M produce supplies in high demand, low supply for coronavirus frontline workers

This photo provided by Michelle Hudson shows nurse anesthetist Samantha Kuzmanovski wearing personal personal protective equipment to intubate COVID-19 patients at Detroit's Sinai-Grace Hospital on April 28, 2020. (Michelle Hudson via AP)
This photo provided by Michelle Hudson shows nurse anesthetist Samantha Kuzmanovski wearing personal personal protective equipment to intubate COVID-19 patients at Detroit's Sinai-Grace Hospital on April 28, 2020. (Michelle Hudson via AP) (Michelle Hudson)

DEARBORN, Mich. – Ford Motor Company is beginning to ship powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) to health care facilities across the U.S.

With design and testing consultation from 3M, Ford designed and built PAPRs to help meet frontline workers’ need for personal protective equipment amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

MORE: Ford teams with 3M, GE, UAW to speed production of respirators, ventilators

“Ford could not stand by while health care workers in this country placed their lives on the line to help others without even having proper protection,” said Jim Baumbick, Vice President of Ford Enterprise Product Line Management. “That’s why we kicked off an all-out sprint to protect those who are so selflessly helping patients afflicted with this terrible virus.”

According to officials, the PAPR includes a “hood and face shield to cover health care professionals’ heads and shoulders, while a high-efficiency (HEPA) filter system provides a supply of filtered air for up to 8 hours”.

Ford and 3M have developed the PAPRs over the last month with the approval from the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, officials said.

RELATED: Ford produces 10 million face shields for health care workers

Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle is the first customer to receive the equipment.

Ford has also produced reusable gowns, face shields and ventilators for health care workers amid the pandemic.

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