Researchers make hazmat suits with built-in ventilators for medics treating Covid-19 patients


Thai researchers have developed hazmat suits with built-in ventilators for medics treating Covid-19 patients.

Footage shows a doctor testing the suit connected to a tube that releases clean air inside the protective gear in Khon Kaen province, northeastern Thailand, on May 4.

The Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) suit prototype was created by researchers from the Khon Kaen University to help ease medics while they tend to patients.

The project started after medical personnel reported having difficulties while breathing due to face masks covering their noses while inside a regular hazmat suit.

Associate Professor Chiranut Sa-ngiamsak who was part of the research team said the gear is 96 per cent effective against the virus and purifies contaminated air so the wearer could freely breathe without the need for a mask.

Chiranut said: ‘The suit is helmet-like and made of polyester fabric which will help push air from the tube to the filters attached behind.’

Another research team member Dr Apichart So-ngern said he tested one of the first ten suits created and the team is so far pleased with the prototype.

Apichart said: ‘When there are emerging infectious diseases we should be cautious especially if it could infect us through the respiratory system.

‘The suits have been developed since the outbreak of H5N, H1N1 and SARS. We are improving them to provide a better Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for our medics.’