Personal protective equipment (PPE) is essential to protect healthcare workers (HCWs) from highly infectious diseases such as COVID-19. However, due to unprecedented global demand, hospitals are in constant danger of running out of safe, effective PPE, including the personal protective clothing needed to treat COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, manufacturing facilities for such garments are limited globally due to a lack of knowledge of the technology involved, ineffective supply chains and strict regulatory requirements. As a result, there remains a clear unmet need for action and efforts to coordinate scientists, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers and regulatory bodies to develop and produce safe and effective protective clothing using the technologies available worldwide.
Medical textiles are used in the manufacture of personal protective clothing for healthcare or medical purposes, particularly to reduce the risk of exposure to hazardous substances (including body fluids) and to minimise the risk of cross-contamination.
There are several different types of medical clothing products, including overalls, shoe covers, full body suits, gloves, individual sleeves, scrubs, surgical gowns, surgical masks and scrub caps. Medical textiles are also used in the manufacture of drapes and bedding textiles for use in medical facilities, as well as wound dressings, bandages and other products.
The use of disposable non-woven protective clothing for medical use: it is suitable for medical personnel to contact with potentially infectious patients' blood, body fluids, secretions and airborne particles to provide protective clothing. High bass medical disposable protective clothing has excellent waterproof property.moisture permeability property, antistatic property and barrier property, can effectively resist alcohol, blood, body fluids, air dust particles, bacteria, penetration, one-time use of safe and convenient, can effectively protect the wearer from infection threat, wearing comfortable, feel is good, strong tensile resistance, through steam waterproof and no cross infection, no skin irritation, etc.
Medical protective clothing is usually made from synthetic fibres and can be produced using non-woven, woven or knitted techniques due to their better fluid barrier properties. Of these, non-wovens are the most popular for this type of garment, as they facilitate relatively rapid and inexpensive manufacture, a high level of sterility and infection control.
They are therefore often used in the manufacture of disposable medical textiles, including surgical caps and gowns, which are usually made of polypropylene and usually have a spunbond-meltblown-spunbond (SMS) structure. In contrast, woven fabrics, usually made of cotton or polyester/cotton blends, are often used in the production of abrasive creams. It is important to provide protection for healthcare workers from infected patients' body fluids and other harmful substances and special finishes can be applied to disposable or reusable medical textiles to provide protection. For example, fluid repellent finishes can be used to form a barrier to prevent absorbed fluids from penetrating the contact fabric.
Another challenge for healthcare workers is exposure to biological fluids that can transmit diseases from a wide range of deadly pathogens, including coronaviruses (such as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), Ebola virus virus and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Antimicrobial finishes are highly effective in preventing infection from such pathogens by killing or inhibiting viruses and bacteria, and can be applied to protective medical garments through a variety of highly scalable and cost-effective manufacturing techniques.