CHICAGO - Medical device company CareFusion Corp said on Monday it has begun shipping more than 3,900 ventilators to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for inclusion in its strategic national stockpile in preparation for the H1N1 swine flu pandemic.

Patients who become severely sick with the new H1N1 swine flu virus, which emerged in March and was declared a pandemic in June, often need to be put on ventilators.

The CDC ordered a total of 4,500 of CareFusion's LTV 1200 ventilators for the national stockpile, which is the nation's reserve of medical products used in the event that local supplies are depleted during a severe public health emergency. (Reporting by Susan Kelly)