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Edwards Lifesciences in Añasco expects to aid 20M patients by ’25

Edwards Lifesciences — a medical device manufacturer — in Añasco has reached some 16 million patients worldwide so far in 2022 with its products and is looking to hit the 20 million mark by 2025.

Edwards, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary on the island, as News is my Business reported, manufactures critical care products including catheters, and hemodynamic monitoring products.

“They’re put in the body of people who are in critical condition generally, in intensive care and their vital signs are monitored, to anticipate when the patient may have some type of decline, so that medications can be administered,” said Manuel Palma, General Manager for the Edwards plant.

“We also work catheters to clean veins and arteries that are used for the elimination of thrombi,” said Palma.

Furthermore, the Añasco facility, which was Edwards’ first operation outside the US mainland, is one of only two sites that produce their industry “gold-standard” Swan Ganz catheter, used for cardiac hemodynamic monitoring, Palma said.

When the facility opened in 1972, it had 12 employees who were responsible for manufacturing 18 products, and today, the company has approximately 1,000 employees and continues to support product development and manufacturing for Edwards’ Critical Care and Vascular businesses.

“When Hurricane María occurred, we were able to maintain the supply of all our products, and not only that, but we supported other industries and distributed medical devices on the island, from Fajardo to Ponce, because the community is very important to us,” said Palma.

“Even now, the plant, a day after Fiona, was already running normal production, and patients were not affected because of any additional crisis or anything,” said Palma.

Currently, Edwards has worked on creating accessories that complement the aortic heart valves produced by another Edwards plant to help the heart after minimal surgery and will continue their production for 2023.

“Right now, the plant is evolving what are centers of excellence, based on technology, which goes more hand in hand with what is the processing of materials, supporting what is the development of new products, and working with plastics as part of the automation process,” said Palma.

The company states that many medical devices cannot be recycled, but to make up for it, its packaging materials are recyclable, and they collect and recycle leftover packaging from the plant.

“We’re in the phase of considering self-generation of energy, and we’re in the evaluations to evolve part of our energy, going to renewable energy internally in the plant,” said Palma.

“Many of our energy systems are low consumption and, in that sense, we have evolved many of those things to get to that, which is part of the sustainability policy that Edwards has, and I believe we must move to make more plants eco-friendlier,” said Palma.

Author Details
Author Details
Yamilet Aponte-Claudio was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She graduated from Colegio Nuestra Señora de la Providencia and is currently a junior at Sacred Heart University. Majoring in Journalism and adding a minor in sustainable development and foreign languages, she aspires to study law after obtaining her bachelor’s degree.

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