Mobile workstations business begins making ventilator carts

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The carts are designed to provide mobile worksurfaces to hold ventilators. Courtesy Altus

A locally based maker of medical carts and workstations is stepping in to address the shortage of hospital equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Walker-based Altus is adding production team members and extra shifts as it ramps up to begin producing ventilator carts.

The carts are designed to provide mobile worksurfaces to hold ventilators, which mechanically “breathe” for patients unable to do so on their own.

The new coronavirus attacks the lungs, in severe cases making breathing difficult and requiring ventilators.

The first ventilator carts already are in production and are available to order immediately.

Altus has begun taking orders for ventilator carts, as well as telemedicine carts, which allow doctors and health care professionals to use video conferencing to treat patients remotely — another increasing need as more states, including Michigan, order residents to shelter in place.

Employees at Altus are working 10-plus-hour shifts and have added Saturdays to keep up with demand. Members of the office team, along with company owners, have stepped in to help with production, working additional hours and weekends while adhering to social distancing, hand-washing and other health protocols to stop the spread of the virus.

Recognized as an essential business, Altus has the go-ahead to continue manufacturing operations after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called for a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order March 23.

Altus is urging its suppliers to remain open so it can help address the rising threat of COVID-19.

“Health care officials have repeatedly warned the American public that our hospital system does not have enough ventilators to meet the needs of patients struck with COVID-19,” said Craig VanderHeide, Altus CEO. “At Altus, we have taken this to heart and shifted our design and production capabilities to produce the mobile carts needed to ensure life-saving ventilators can be easily brought to the bedside of critically ill patients.

“We are practicing recommended protocols to ensure our team stays healthy and doesn’t spread the coronavirus. Altus is proud to do our part to help address this immediate need.”

The new ventilator cart is height adjustable, with a range of 28.5 inches to 46.5 inches and features an expansive work surface with multiple accessory options to meet each customer’s needs, including telescoping equipment pole, utility baskets and a multipurpose adjustable shelf. Equipped with heavy-duty casters for ease of movement, the cart was engineered to house a broad range of ventilators.

More information about Altus products and services is available at altus-inc.com.

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