Elon Musk’s ‘ventilator’ supplies become controversial

San Francisco: Contrary to Tesla CEO and Founder Elon Musk’s claim that his company had delivered over 1,000 ventilators to hospitals in California to help treat COVID-19 patients, some of these facilities told a news network that what they received were not exactly the highly sought-after machines.

Musk on Twitter this week even put out a partial list of hospitals to which Tesla sent the “ventilators”.

Four of the hospital, however, told CNN that what they received were bilevel positive airway pressure (biPAP) and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, not ventilators.

The news came after California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday said that the state’s hospitals did not receive the ventilators promised by Musk last month.

Although they do assist in breathing, biPAPs and CPAPs are not the same as ventilators and the cost of these machines are significantly less.

While a CPAP machine costs about $500, and a biPAPs about $1,200, cost of one ventilator ranges between $20,000 and $50,000, according to the CNN report on Friday.

In a letter to healthcare providers on March 22, the US U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that CPAP, auto-CPAP, and BiPAP machines typically used for treatment of sleep apnea (either in the home or facility setting) may be used to support COVID-19 patients with respiratory insufficiency provided appropriate monitoring (as available) and patient condition.