Russia has suspended the use and circulation of Aventa-M ventilators produced after April 1 2020, following two deadly fires in coronavirus hospitals, the country’s Federal Service for Supervision in Healthcare Roszdravnadzor said in a statement Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a fire in St. Petersburg claimed the lives of five patients and forced the evacuation of 150 people. Three days earlier a similar incident killed one patient in Moscow. Both hospitals used Aventa-M ventilators, Roszdravnadzor said.
Aventa-M is a flagship ventilator produced by KRET, which is part of state-owned defense producer Rostec.
KRET has been designated by the Russian authorities as the main supplier of ventilators in the country. According to a government contract, KRET is supplying 6,711 ventilators in total this year to Russia’s regional hospitals. In April, the company said it would increase its production capacity from 10 ventilators to 100 ventilators a day.
Aventa-M ventilators were also part of a shipment of medical supplies sent by Russia to the US in early April.
A FEMA spokesperson told CNN the ventilators had never been deployed and the shipment was returned by New York and New Jersey.
“They were held in reserve in case the situations in NY and NJ worsened," a FEMA spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday.
"The ventilators have not been deployed to hospitals. Out of an abundance of caution, the states are returning the ventilators to FEMA. The conclusion(s) of the investigation being conducted by the Russian authorities into the fire in St. Petersburg will help inform our decision regarding any future use of the ventilators."