Product consultancy Renfrew Group International has designed a Patient Isolation Suit for the treatment of people with infectious diseases such as Ebola.
The suit is a sealed environment – designed to be worn by an infectious person – which contains microbiological materials such as pathogens, spores and viruses.
The main purpose of the suit is to protect health workers from contamination through direct contact.
Currently healthworkers are required to wear protective suits when transporting or caring for patients with an infectious disease. Those patients are nursed in isolation rooms or enclosures, some with air filtration under negative pressure and nursing staff are given strictly controlled routines.
Design director Bruce Renfrew says the danger in healthworker’s protective suits “is when they disrobe”.
He adds: “Our design turns the problem of contamination on its head and puts the patient in the protective suit rather than everyone else having to be so protected.”
The impervious suit – which is hermetically sealed with seams and closures – keeps any microbiological organisms within it and can be used in hospitals or in the field.
There are pipes for the delivery of fluids to the patient’s mouth, an air quality sensor alarm within the suit and temperature controlled air flow pipes.
An integral tube and bag for receiving vomit can be crimped closed from the outside after use.
The design is patent pending and is currently being assessed by the World Health Authority Compendium 2014 secretariat.
Renfrew Group International is looking for a partner to help with rapid development. “It’s not expensive. It’s a garment.”