Medical protective clothing: demand and innovation spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic

Medical protective clothing: demand and innovation spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic

The recent outbreak of COVID-19 has highlighted the crucial role played by medical protective clothing in ensuring the safety of health care workers, the patients they treat and the general public on a daily basis. Indeed, medical protective clothing and other items of personal protective equipment (PPE) are crucial to preventing the transmission of COVID-19. Global demand for medical protective clothing and PPE has surged to unprecedented levels and this has placed immense pressure on supply chains. One outcome is that nonwoven fabrics used in the manufacture of single-use protective items such as face masks and gowns are in exceptionally high demand. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted several of the industry's key players to innovate, and to boost supplies of fabrics used in the manufacture of medical protective clothing--including nonwovens. There has been a particular focus on the rapid development of antiviral finishes, and on the development of fabrics treated with such finishes for use in the manufacture of reusable medical protective clothing. This report provides a wealth of information on the market for medical protective clothing and the latest innovations in this sector. Topics explored in the report include: purposes of medical protective clothing; types of medical protective clothing; essential properties of medical protective clothing; materials used in the manufacture of medical protective clothing; medical protective clothing and the prevention of cross-infection; standards for medical protective clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE); and the market for medical protective clothing with particular reference to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the market. Also, the report examines a variety of innovations in materials for medical protective clothing, it analyses some of the latest antiviral finishes for medical protective clothing, and it provides an outlook for the future.


SUMMARY
INTRODUCTION
PURPOSES OF MEDICAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
TYPES OF MEDICAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Gowns
Coveralls
Scrubs
Surgical scrubs
Non-surgical scrubs
Full body suits
Laboratory coats
Accessories worn by health care workers
Gloves
Footwear covers
Independent sleeves
Safety glasses and face shields
Surgical masks
Disposable plastic aprons
Scrub hats
ESSENTIAL PROPERTIES OF MEDICAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Barrier protection
Antimicrobial properties
Comfort
Practical design
Compatibility with other items of PPE
Appropriate size and fit
Ease of donning and removal
Durability
Resistance to undesirable effects
Resistance to linting
Flame resistance
Static resistance
Stain resistance
Wrinkle resistance
Aesthetic appeal
Colours used for medical protective clothing
Patterns used for medical protective clothing
MATERIALS USED IN THE MANUFACTURE OF MEDICAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Single-use medical protective clothing
Impact of single-use medical protective clothing items on the environment
Reusable medical protective clothing
Comfort
MEDICAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND THE PREVENTION OF CROSS-INFECTION
Emergence of novel infections
Health care associated infections (HCAIs)
Potential of medical protective clothing to cause cross-infection
Effect of laundering on the presence of microorganisms
STANDARDS FOR MEDICAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT (PPE)
MARKET FOR MEDICAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on demand for personal protective equipment (PPE)
Price increases and counterfeit products
Key providers of medical protective apparel and materials used in the manufacture of medical protective apparel
Challenges and opportunities
INNOVATIONS IN MATERIALS FOR MEDICAL PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
Ahlstrom-Munksjö: Extia Protect, TrustShield, and ViroSēl fabrics
Extia Protect
TrustShield
Argar: AVirTex fabrics
Ascend Performance Materials (Ascend): Acteev Protect
Burlington: Isolite, Maxima, MaxPro and XALT fabrics
Carrington Textiles (Carrington): antiviral and antibacterial fabrics for medical apparel and workwear
DuPont: Tyvek 1222A fabric
Milliken & Company (Milliken): Biosmart and Perimeter fabrics
Suominen: Fibrella Shield
INNOVATIONS IN ANTIVIRAL FINISHES FOR MEDICAL
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING
HeiQ: HeiQ Viroblock NPJ03
Polygiene: ViralOff
Proneem: Viral Stop
Rudolf Group: RUCO-BAC AGP
OUTLOOK
List of tables
Table 1: Penetration of blood-borne pathogens through a substrate
Table 2: Seam constructions commonly used in medical protective clothing
Table 3: Comparison of the cost of using a reusable surgical gown with the cost of using a single-use surgical gown, 2020
Table 4: Selected standards used in the certification of medical protective apparel, personal protective equipment (PPE) and materials from which they are made by region or country, 2020
Table 5: USA: employment of physicians, registered nurses and respiratory therapists, May 2019
Table 6: Leading manufacturers of nonwovens for medical applications including medical protective clothing, May 2020
Table 7: Selected suppliers of medical protective clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE), May 2020
Table 8: Selected manufacturers of fabrics for reusable medical protective apparel products, May 2020
Table 9: Burlington: selected medical fabrics, 2020
Table 10: Milliken: water resistance of Perimeter fabrics, 2020

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