Grading Gowns: Redesigning One-size PPE To Fit And Protect Female Health Workers More Effectively

Lead Research Organisation: Nottingham Trent University
Department Name: Sch of Art and Design

Abstract

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, a shortage of suitable PPE has resulted in healthcare workers(HCWs) wearing one-size, disposable isolation gowns, compromising comfort and safety. Oversized, ill-fitting gowns impede movement and increase body temperature and risk of viral transmission. Clinical procurement and acute care leads have expressed the need for more sustainable, reusable, individually sized PPE gowns fabricated from washable textiles to enhance the HCWs experiences, while mitigating infection risk and reducing clinical waste. The project will deliver a 'reusable PPE isolation gown system' including a doffing accessory to safely remove contaminated gowns. The healthcare sector ready set of gowns will be designed and produced in EN-certificated textiles and manufacturing conditions in multiple sizes (XS-XXXL) informed by: a systematic review of current PPE design, provision and use; qualitative data from interviews, questionnaires and wearer trials. The PPE outcomes will be disseminated via UK NHS trusts, health authorities, service conferences and publications. The investigators have industry/ research expertise in user-centred fashion and workwear design. Alexandra, is an industry leader in the production and supply of PPE gowns to UK health authorities and links with the Chelsea and Westminster NHS Foundation Trust. Other NHS partners include clinical procurement and acute care team leaders who have in-depth knowledge of the acquisition, distribution, use and affect of disposable PPE. The applicants' universities encompass the product design labs and resources required for fashion/ accessory development and prototyping. Alexandra will provide access to advanced clinical textiles, gown production and testing facilities. Interviews, questionnaires and wearer trials will facilitated via London, Northampton and Nottingham hospitals.

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