Revolutionary Respiratory Technology
Company: Original Design –Your Brand, Our Design
Respiratory Protective Equipment, RPE, is essential for protecting people in many lines of work from airborne hazards in the workplace.
As specialists in the field of RPE design, we saw that the pandemic was presenting particular challenges for existing PPE and got to work on the award-winning solution.
– Original Design
– Regulatory Requirements
As the world began to learn more about COVID-19 and how the coronavirus is transmitted, the need for adequate RPE became all the more apparent.
Surgical masks and face coverings were encouraged and then enforced for the general public. But for healthcare workers on the frontline coming into contact with the deadly virus required more suitable protection.
P3 filtering facepieces – FFP3 – respirators had been used in hospitals for years. But only in specific settings. Such as when performing an AGP or dealing with cases of influenza or tuberculosis.
With their sudden widespread use, hospitals were finding that FFP3 masks were not only becoming hard to obtain. They required a huge amount of storage space when not being used. And generated an enormous amount of waste due to them being single-use products.
Industrial reusable half-mask respirators started being used by some hospitals to help tackle the waste and supply issues. But this only led to more problems.
Problems such as rough surfaces making them hard to clean. Large sizes unsuitable for the smaller average healthcare worker demographic. And exhalation valves which were found to be an infectious control risk, as a-symptomatic healthcare workers could pass on the virus through the unfiltered valve.
While a few existing respirators dealt with one or two of the RPE obstacles presented by the pandemic, none of them dealt with all of them.
So we went about designing one that would work with our award-winning FitCheck system.
To tackle the issue of waste, we realised that the RPE must be reusable. But that wasn’t the only sustainable issue. From there we started explored what would be required to have a reusable respirator built entirely in the UK and upscaled our production capabilities accordingly. Making the mask entirely in the UK significantly lowered the carbon footprint and allows for ongoing supply even with closed borders.
To combat cross contamination, we designed a unique two-way filtering system from the ground up. Housing the respirator’s valves underneath the filters, air is breathed in through one filter and out through the other. Even if the wearer is infected, the contaminated air they breathe out is cleaned through the filtering material, eliminating the risk of cross contamination for the patient.
In addition to making the Clir available in smaller sizes to fit the average healthcare worker demographic, we found that many RPE wearers were finding communication a problem. So we engineered an anti-fog transparent window at the front of the mask, made from a light-weight thin plastic, so that patients and colleagues could see the wearer’s lips move and more clearly identify what they are saying.