Doctors in the U.K. are warning that several Chinese ventilators, used to help treat patients of the coronavirus, could potentially "kill people" due to the lack of quality and poor instructions on usage, according to NBC News. The specific ventilator cited was the Shangrila 510 model made by Beijing Aeonmed Co. Ltd, which accounted for over 80 percent of Britain's supply from the Asian country.
The message comes after the country received 300 ventilators from the communist nation earlier this April. At the time, the additional ventilators had been seen as a godsend as the U.K. had struggled to provide medical care to the growing numbers of COVID-19 infected patients.
In fact, the government even issued a public thank you to the Chinese government for their support.
"I'd like to thank the Chinese government for their support in securing that capacity," Michael Gove, a senior member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, said at a briefing on the matter.
However, health providers soon began reporting serious flaws in the equipment, and are now urging hospitals to remove the faulty ventilators, citing the strong likelihood of "significant patient harm."
"We believe that if used, significant patient harm, including death, is likely," the doctors wrote in a letter earlier this month.
"We look forward to the withdrawal and replacement of these ventilators with devices better able to provide intensive care ventilation for our patients," the letter added.
The statement also cited the specific issues that doctors had witnessed from the machines.
One of the most alarming problems with the ventilators was the uneven oxygen supply, which health providers slammed as "variable and unreliable."
In addition, it is reportedly difficult -- if not impossible -- to clean the fabric casing around the machine. Infected ventilators could make the pandemic worse by spreading the virus in hospitals, in addition to potentially reinfecting those on the machines.
Other problems included the basic quality of the build and the "non-E.U." oxygen connection hose. In addition, many of the machines were built for use in ambulances and not hospitals, and the instruction manual was deemed confusing.
This is not the first time that Chinese equipment has been under fire for its poor quality. A minor international scuffle erupted in late March after Spain voiced its frustration that coronavirus testing kits ordered from China had a dismal 30 percent accuracy rate, per The New York Times.
In response, China claimed that the manufacturer had not been on its approved list of suppliers, though the nation vowed to conduct an investigation into the matter.
Meanwhile, the pandemic continues its spread across the globe, with close to 3.3 million cases confirmed worldwide and over 234,000 deaths.
In the U.S., Texas is beginning to emerge as another potential hotspot of the disease, recording the largest single-day increase in COVID-19 deaths just hours before the state is set to start reopening, as was previously covered by The Inquisitr.