Hospital trust becomes first to introduce pioneering respirator hoods
Thursday April 23rd, 2020
University Hospital Southampton has become the first healthcare provider in the country to widely introduce a pioneering protective respirator hood for staff treating patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).
The equipment, designed by researchers at the University of Southampton and the NIHR Southampton Biomedical Research Centre in collaboration with clinicians at UHS, was developed into a prototype in just a week, tested on wards and manufactured at scale in less than a month.
Known as PeRSo, it consists of a fabric hood which covers the wearer’s head and a plastic visor to protect their face.
It delivers clean air through a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter with belt-mounted fan pack, can be worn continuously for eight to nine hours and is reusable after appropriate cleaning.
Frontline healthcare staff at UHS tested the prototypes on the wards last month and the concept has been made open-source so it is available to be manufactured around the world.
Following this testing and safety clearance for use as a alternative to surgical face masks, UHS placed an order of 5,000 with Southampton-based manufacturer INDO (on behalf of Baynhams). The first deliveries have arrived and it is now subject to an initial clinical evaluation as a replacement for surgical masks in selected areas.