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Innovative PPE protecting frontline staff

Innovative PPE protecting frontline staff

As the country went into lockdown in March, BRC investigator and clinician Professor Paul Elkington took the intiative on finding better PPE for his clinical colleagues, working with Professor Hywel Morgan. Now Health and Safety Executive approved, the resulting award winning PeRSo respirator hood frees frontline staff from the discomfort and limitations of single use face masks, providing protection and peace of mind for their entire shift.

The COVID-19 pandemic created a global shortage of personal protective equipment,particularly face masks. This combined with the discmofort and maximum 1 hour of continuous use of these masks, created additional challenges and pressures for frontline teams.

Experiencing these challenges first hand, BRC investigator Professor Paul Elkington and his engineering colleague Professor Hywel Morgan took initial sketches for a simple, cost-effective respirator hood from initial sketches to a working prototype in just one week.

BRC support and expertise enabled rapid clinical evaluation on wards, with the protoype driven into production in under a month by a collaboration of engineers from the University of Southampton, clinicians at University Hospital Southampton and industry partners including McLaren, Kemp Sails and INDO Lighting.

Throough use of commonly available, low cost materials and components and immediate open-source publishing of the design, Professors Elkington and Morgan aimed at maximum uptake by manufacturers and organisations worldwide, to help clinical colleagues globally.

The PeRSo hoods were rapidly deployed at University Hospital Southampton, with manufacturing partner INDO producing two models - the Health and Safety Executive approved PeRSo 3, and the lower cost PeRSo due to recieve CE certification in early 2021.

In summer 2020 the PeRSo team recieved a President’s Special Award from the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAEng) awarded for Pandemic Service for exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19 throughout the UK.

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