A Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) mask concept that combines a positive pressure oronasal mask and an air curtain to protect the eyes and ears.
There is evidence to suggest that the current oronasal masks (N95/FFP3) used to protect health workers from contracting COVID-19 may not be sufficiently effective. Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) systems provide the ultimate protection but are expensive and have operational drawbacks. This new concept provides improved protection above N95/FFP3 masks and is easier to work in compared with a full PAPR system.
Currently, healthcare workers in high-risk areas are given oronasal Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) N95/FFP3 masks while treating COVID-19 patients. These are passive masks, however, a 2013 UK Department of Health assessment† found limited evidence that these types of masks worked in preventing healthcare workers from contracting influenza (which has similar contagion properties to COVID-19).
An alternative PPE is to use a Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR). However, these are expensive, difficult to decontaminate, and many have full helmets/face visors that makes communication with the patient difficult.
The PPE Air Shield
This invention overcomes the issues associated with both these systems to provide a high level of protection to the nose, mouth, eyes and ears whilst being inexpensive, easy to decontaminate, and allows easy communication.
- Multiple Reuse – the PPE Air Shield system can be easily decontaminated making it available for multiple reuse.
- Greater Protection – this concept offers improved protection compared with current oronasal masks (such as N95 and FFP3)
- Improved Usability – compared with Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR), this design is more comfortable to wear for long periods. It also has the benefit of not having a full hood which makes communication with the patient easier.