A NEW type of ventilator developed in Carmarthenshire to treat coronavirus patients has been approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The device has been designed by Glangwili senior consultant Dr Rhys Thomas with the help of Maurice Clarke of CR Clarke & Co, an engineering company in Ammanford.

The Covid CPAP machine helps patients to breathe more easily, and will now undergo clinical trials.

Council Leader Cllr Emlyn Dole has welcomed the news.

He said: “This is a fantastic example of medical and technical expertise coming together at a critical time to meet the formidable challenge of dealing with this terrible virus.

“Hywel Dda Health Board must be commended for their faith in facilitating the project during this crisis, which is unprecedented in our lifetime.

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“It is encouraging to see the local business sector bringing innovation and entrepreneurship to the fore in this present crisis.”

Hywel Dda University Health Board is having to adapt hospital wards to treat seriously ill coronavirus patients and the council is working closely with them to set up four field hospitals in the county.

The council is converting Carmarthen and Llanelli Leisure Centres, the Selwyn Samuel Centre and the Parc y Scarlets barn in Llanelli, into temporary hospitals to provide additional NHS bed space.

Cllr Dole added: “As far as bed provision goes, Carmarthenshire is as prepared as we can be, but anything which helps take pressure off our hospitals and NHS staff, and help save lives, would obviously be most welcome.”

Professor Keir Lewis, Respiratory Lead for Hywel Dda, added: “This potentially promising CPAP machine now has the appropriate plans and support across Wales to undergo a rapid and careful evaluation with patients and we await the outcome of these trials with interest.”

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