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AMBU INC.

A pioneering medical device company based in Columbia, Ambu Inc. has become the largest manufacturer of single-use endoscopes – instruments inserted into a person to view internal parts – in the world. In great demand during the pandemic, sales of the single-use devices soared from 600,000 in 2019 to 1.4 million last year.

But despite that popularity, Ambu Inc. is best known for the Ambu Bag resuscitator, invented by the company 66 years ago and used by medical personnel around the world to provide oxygen to patients in emergencies.

The Ambu Bag has undergone numerous refinements over the years. Originally, it was designed with bicycle spokes inside a bag, which made the bag spring back and self-inflate as it was squeezed and released, thus delivering oxygen to the patient.  Over the years, Ambu engineers refined the bag, making it out of plastic, for example. During the pandemic, Ambu designers added filters to protect both the patients and health care workers from inhaling the virus.

Today, the Ambu Bag is an essential tool in emergency rooms and operating rooms, and on fire trucks and emergency vehicles.

In a letter recommending Ambu Inc. for this award, John Bosley, an EMT firefighter in Baltimore County, recounted a 2017 vehicle accident that left him on the side of a road with a collapsed lung and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. David Vitber, deputy medical director for the Baltimore County Fire Department,  arrived on the scene, found Bosley unconscious, and used an Ambu Bag to revive him.

“I’ve used the Ambu Bag to help save other people’s lives and it definitely saved my life,” Bosley wrote. “I’m grateful to have the Ambu Bag out in the field in our operations. The reason that I think I’m still here is to help others.”

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's Health Care Heroes awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.