As India braces to fight the battle against coronavirus pandemic, a dedicated team of professors and researchers from India’s top Design & Technology Institutes – The World University of Design, IIT Delhi and AIIMS are addressing the shortage of PPEs by designing and developing indigenous PPE Kits for Healthcare Workers who are on the frontline fighting against the corona pandemic.
Amid the shortage of PPE for doctors and the frontline staff, a team at WUD is working closely with IIT Delhi, AIIMS and the Chennai based Loyal Textile Mills to design and produce standard PPE for our healthcare workers. These institutions are collaborating and pooling their respective expertise to assist in the development of not only low cost but also easily available PPE kits.
Dr Sanjay Gupta, Vice Chancellor at World University of Design says “We are happy to share the patterns for the entire PPE with anyone who is contributing to meeting the shortage of the same. The design and production of these kits is open source, therefore any small or medium scale factory interested can take the design from us and start manufacturing them. The key feature of this design is the ease of doffing, where the garment can be taken off by the person without touching the infected outer surface. The prototypes for these kits have been created following the required protocol and are presently undergoing a second round of testing at a hospital in Chennai.”
A team of researchers from WUD has designed the PPE sets keeping in mind the ease of donning and doffing the PPE without help. These sets are designed to make them fit Indian body shapes and sizes. They help avoid loose, hanging parts which may come in contact with infected surfaces and get contaminated. It will provide high level of protection with stringent technical requirements. There are no unnecessary openings which may aid the contagion to pass through the PPE, thereby infecting the person in question. Even micro-openings created while stitching the garment, which may provide a pathway for the virus to enter, are sealed off along with the seams. The design involving minimum number of seams not only minimizes the risk of seam leakage but is also fast and cheap to produce. Special barrier fabrics which are breathable and provide the highest liquid barrier protection level are used to make the PPE. A combination of all this makes it the perfect PPE kit designed to meet the challenge posed by the COVID-19.
Dr Gupta further said, “Healthcare workers are among the first to respond when an infectious pathogen threatens a community. Indeed they are often among the first to be affected as well! Today, India’s hospitals are in need of adequate resources to deal with the rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases. However there this a worrying imbalance in the demand-supply ratio of the PPE (personal protection equipment) kits.”
The World University of Design and IIT Delhi, have been working closely on the research, development and promotion of ‘Functional Clothing’ for various medical applications.