Medical device manufacturer Cook Medical Australia is adding 94 jobs in a second shift at its Eight Mile Plains facility to meet increasing export demand for its life-changing stent devices.

Stents are tiny, splint-like devices placed inside ducts or blood vessels to open passageways and restore blood flow.

Cook Medical is one of few companies in the world that manufactures stents to treat abdominal aortic aneurysms, and is also an Asia-Pacific leader in stent research and development.

General Manager Dr Samih Nabulsi said the company’s highly skilled manufacturing employees hand-sewed and hand-knotted each stent with polyester medical-grade thread, producing different and specific stent grafts for each patient.

‘Our employees take great pride in their work, as they know that these devices may be life-changing for patients,’ he said.

‘Our recruitment drive aims to bring on seven people a month this year to fill an eight-hour shift running from 2pm until midnight, Monday to Thursday.

‘The extra shift will mean 231 skilled technicians will be on site across 19 hours to deliver products to patients faster.’

Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick said the staff growth would boost Cook Medical’s production by more than 50%.

Mr Dick said the Queensland Government was backing the biomedical sector through the $513 million Advance Queensland program.

‘By 2026 Queensland aims to be a recognised leader – nationally and internationally – for its advanced manufacturing in biomedical technologies, products, systems and services,’ he said.

‘It is growing companies like Cook Medical which are fuelling this vision.’

Queensland’s biomedical sector added $1.4 billion to the state’s economy in 2015–16.

It employed 9,440 people and is forecast to grow by up to 38% over the next 10 years.

The biomedical and life sciences sector is identified as an emerging export strength in the Queensland Trade and Investment Strategy 2017–2022.