protective suit against Ebola and future epidemics

Apr 19, 2016 | | Say something

protective suit against Ebola and future epidemics ;

Credit: EPFL Alain Herzog

Following the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, EPFL is joining forces with the University Hospitals of Geneva and the University of Geneva to develop a new protective suit. The initiative is promoted and supported by physicians working on the front line.

Health workers worldwide epidemic of Ebola in West Africa met for more than three years. However, tight suits they wore to protect themselves from the deadly epidemic on record were suffocating and unsuitable for tropical countries.

New safety equipment that is more convenient, reusable and possibly even less expensive – while providing the necessary protection by health workers tends to people suffering from Ebola – now being developed by EPFL and the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), in collaboration with the Swiss federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA), Doctors without Borders and the University of Geneva. The prototype will be on display for three days at the Geneva Health Forum.

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100 costumes throw every day

“When you dress to enter the contaminated area, you have to put in about 10 different layers,” said Laurent Kaiser, who works at the Laboratory of Virology hug and a professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University Geneva. “It also uses a diving mask that tarnishes quickly, surgical gloves and aprons thick. Not to mention that after an hour of sweating in the red zone in his plastic suit boots are full of water.” This protective equipment whose design has evolved with each new epidemic in recent years, takes almost 15 minutes to put on and remove. And it can only be used once in most cases.

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A piece suit a sealed tightly prototype, designed to be disinfected and reused, has been developed as part of EssentialTech program at the Center for Cooperation and Development EPFL. “In the treatment centers, hundreds of contaminated suits were destroyed every day, tens of thousands per quarter, despite the cost and environmental risks,” said Matthieu Gani, the project manager. Resistant ventilation system has yet to be developed, funding for which is now being sought.

Safer and cheaper

The protective suit designed by the EPFL and a hug and produced by Sf Tech – a Swiss company that specializes in dry suits for diving – should be washed in a chlorine solution and can be used for three months. According to the financial projections, the new gear will cost about four times less than the models currently in use. It will also facilitate storage and refueling. The prototype was designed to be used for three hours, which will improve the quality of care provided to patients.

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prototype presented to WHO and the public

The protective suit of one piece met with real interest that was presented at a meeting of the World Health Organization. This is because the search for effective protection equipment for health workers remains a major challenge in the fight against emerging infections Ebola type. The prototype is on display for three days at the Geneva Health Forum, where visitors can even try it.

This article was originally published on medicalxpress, Read the original article

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