PPE for patients

Merci à l’Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Paris for a fantastic week working on personal protective equipment for some of your most vulnerable patients.

Paris is home to an incredible hospital unit that caters to people with complex special needs such as sever autism and intellectual disability that require hospitalisation.

The doctors and nurses provide incredible care, but one of their biggest struggles is patient self-harm, with the most common injuries to the face and head.

In this project I designed a concept for a discreet modular helmet and mask system that can be adapted to the specific needs of each patient at any one time, meaning the patient will be able to wear the minimum level of protection necessary to keep them safe, increasing comfort.  I noted that the nurses said that they try to use helmets as little as possible and that they are only used when necessary.

My question was: how can we protect specific areas of the head and face and easily adapt the level of protection? To understand this question, I created a model of the different areas of the head and face, in coloured paper.

paper model of sections of head to protect

I focused on the rugby scrum cap model, imagining that we could remove and replace different levels of padding. I translated this paper model into a series of foam pieces.

The concept is that the cap would be made of a semi-elastic material, with pockets inside for the different foam or perhaps polystyrene parts. The level of protection could be adapted for each patient according to his or her needs.

Back of cap shown with different thicknesses of foam pieces (for concept presentation only, the foam pieces would be placed inside interior pockets)

I also worked on the idea of the adaptability of a face mask with a grille, seeing the face in 4 sections, I created a mask that can be used as chin and mouthguard or as eye and nose protector, or all at the same time. The grille is also in modular sections.

Front of cap, shown with modular face grille

The best part of this project was that I have the opportunity to present these concepts to medical staff and hear their feedback.

Nurses from the unit engaging with the concept models

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