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Our Story

Company Timeline

1994 Founded in 1960, Tyco reorganizes its subsidiaries to include Tyco Healthcare. Tyco acquires Classic Medical, Uni-Patch, Promeon and Kendall International. Kendall is among the world's largest manufacturers and distributors of disposable medical supplies, wound care dressings, bandaging, elastic support and other vascular therapy compression products.

1996 Tyco acquires Professional Medical Products, Inc., makers of adult incontinence products and other disposable medical products.

1997 Medical Disposable, makers of adult incontinence products is acquired.

1998 Tyco acquires Sherwood Davis & Geck, a manufacturer and distributor of disposable medical products and United States Surgical, maker of suture and auto suture medical devices.

2000 Tyco acquires General Surgical Innovations, a medical manufacturer and distributor of SPACEMAKER™ balloon dissection-devices used in minimally invasive surgical procedures and Mallinckrodt Inc., a global healthcare company that manufactures and distributes specialty medical products designed to sustain breathing, diagnose disease and relieve pain.

2002 Paragon Trade Brands, Inc. a global supplier of infant disposable diapers and other absorbent personal care products is acquired.

2005 Valleylab, a division in Tyco’s Healthcare segment, acquires Vivant Medical Inc., a leading developer of microwave ablation medical technology. Tyco Healthcare's surgical business agrees to acquire a controlling interest in Floréane Medical Implants, S.A.

2006 U.S. Surgical, a division in Tyco's Healthcare segment, acquires Confluent Surgical, Inc., a leading developer and supplier of polymer-based technology used in sprayable surgical sealants and anti-adhesion products. Tyco Healthcare agrees to acquire a controlling interest in Airox, S.A., a leading European company in home respiratory ventilation systems.

2007 Following a separation from Tyco International, Tyco Healthcare changes its name to Covidien.

Surgical Stapling Looking at the surgical stapler in 1967, eventual US Surgical founder Leon Hirsch realized that a disposable cartridge of staples would simplify the instrument's use enormously. In the basement of his house, he made a prototype cartridge stapler out of balsa wood, and then spent $75,000 of his savings to have a metal version of his model made. Two surgeons at Johns Hopkins medical school in Baltimore tested the new device, and on the basis of their strong recommendation, Hirsch was able to line up $2 million in financing from two other investors to develop and market the product.

Pulse Oximetry Beginning in 1981, Nellcor pioneered pulse oximetry as we know it today, and rapidly gained prominence as the worldwide leader in pulse oximetry products. Recent innovations, such as the OxiMax (TM) pulse oximetry system, illustrate Nellcor's technological expertise and dedication to continually improving patient care.

Mechanical Ventilation In 1940 Ray Bennett created a novel gas delivery mechanism, a jeweled pneumatic valve—the "valve that breathes with the patient." Bennett's innovation led to the development of generations of mechanical ventilators, including the MA-1 volume ventilator, a breakthrough device that virtually replaced the "iron lung" machines of the past.

Wound Care World War I created a tremendous need for surgical dressings made from the Kendall's absorbent cotton gauze. When the end of the war saw a fall-off in demand for dressings, Kendall promptly diversified. Soon the company was producing hospital dressings, cheesecloth, sanitary napkin gauze and other coarse-mesh products, and acquiring additional spinning and weaving plants to keep up with demand. Many of these products were marketed under the now legendary Curity (TM)trademark.

Many respected brands. One committed company.

At Covidien, we're passionate about making doctors, nurses and other medical professionals as effective as they can be. Through ongoing collaboration with these medical professionals and healthcare organizations, we identify clinical needs and translate them into proven products and procedures. Our industry-leading brands – including Kendall, Nellcor, Puritan-Bennett and Valleylab – are known and respected worldwide for uncompromising quality.

Over the years, we've pioneered a number of medical advances, including pulse oximetry, electrosurgery, surgical stapling, laparoscopic instrumentation and embolization devices. This extensive product line, spanning medical devices and medical supplies, enables us to serve healthcare needs in hospitals, long-term care and alternate care facilities, doctors’ offices and in the home.

International in every respect

Covidien is part of the local fabric of the communities in which we operate around the world. Our success is made possible through the dedication of our more than 39,000 employees, nearly two-thirds of whom work in 43 manufacturing facilities located in 17 countries. Every day, over 5,000 Covidien sales representatives meet the needs of our customers in more than 70 countries. In all, our Company derives 50% of its sales from outside the United States.

Strategic Initiatives, Core strengths

At Covidien, we believe supporting the lifesaving work of medical professionals and focusing on growth are complementary goals. In fact, it is our financial stability that enables us to fulfill our vision of delivering unmatched value to our customers in the healthcare profession. In this way, we are able to do our part to improve patient outcomes.

With that in mind, we have outlined the following strategic initiatives:

  • Broaden innovation focus
  • Execute on customer-focused portfolio investments
  • Drive operational leverage
  • Capitalize on emerging markets opportunities
  • Develop talent and culture to drive innovation and inclusion

We're confident we will succeed in these areas because of our core strengths:

  • Scale, product diversity and reach. As one of the largest global manufacturers and marketers in the healthcare industry, we have the scale and diversity to invest wisely in infrastructure and technology and to develop lower cost sources of supply and global distribution. We offer products in a number of high-growth healthcare areas, including laparoscopic surgery, electrosurgery, biosurgery and vascular therapies.
  • A portfolio of leading brands. Our brands are among the most well-known and respected in the healthcare field. Quality and reliability are their hallmarks.
  • Strong customer relationships. Our sales force develops and maintains strong relationships with clinician decision-makers. We foster these relationships by providing extensive clinical education through dedicated training centers, by sponsoring fellowships and by offering other continuing education programs.
  • Operational excellence. We have a history of developing and manufacturing high-quality products in a cost-effective manner. Throughout our organization, we are committed to Six Sigma, Design for Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and strategic sourcing initiatives to ensure product availability. We employ strict safety and quality controls to minimize disruption throughout the supply chain.

Our aim is to enhance growth by expanding our research and development initiatives, pursuing targeted acquisition opportunities and strengthening our global infrastructure, including sales, marketing and distribution.