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#3 Reduce Perspiration with damp, cool scrubs or Under Armour shirt

Rinse scrubs in ice cold water and wring out before donning containment suits. The cool, damp fabric will help cool core body temperature. The damp, cool scrubs can be immediately implemented. Utilize Under Armour shirts in same manner by rinsing the shirts in ice cold water before donning containment suits. Also, recommend that HCP wear a cold, damp bandana tied around forehead, and/or another around the neck, which will help cool the top of their head.

Photo of A Pi
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Note: The cooling effect of wearing cold, damp scrubs is subjective to the wearer’s perception of whether or not they feel more comfortable for a longer period of time. The intent of rinsing scrubs in cold water and then immediately donning before putting on PPE, is to help the HCP extend the amount of time that they can wear the PPE. The current average of time in PPE is described as only 1 hour before the HCP has to remove it. If the cold, damp scrubs help to extend the time even by 15 minutes, then it’ll help HCP and help cut costs. If helping the HCP stay cool for 15 minutes longer because body is initially cooled by the cold dampness of the scrubs then it’s helping the HCP and cutting overall costs of PPE. An additional 15 minutes of wear, multiplied by HCP, multiplied by each month – will help cut down number of PPE suits used. Hopefully, the process will give 15 minutes additional time before HCP became extremely hot and uncomfortable.

Note 2: The scrubs aren’t an additional layer of insulating material because scrubs are already worn by HCPs beneath the PPE. The suggestion of using Under Armour shirts is intended for the HCP to try using a cold, damp UA shirt instead of a scrub shirt.

The cold, damp scrubs should help immediately lower the HCP’s body temp which should help give the HCP a few minutes of feeling cooler, and then as the scrubs become warmer from body heat – give an additional few minutes of normal temp before finally becoming hot in the PPE. Whereas, as soon as the HCP dons the PPE – they’re too hot - using the current process.

Note 3: I recommend multiple tests in different settings by multiple users since the results are subjective. The results are perception based and will differ for each wearer. However, the over-all result should be an additional extended amount of time, in the PPE. The wearing of cold, damp scrubs should help HCP feel cooler even if by a few minutes - whether in Western Hospitals or in West Africa’s hot climates.

Summary of all combined ideas:



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Photo of Rainer Winkler

Hi A Pi, I will try to assess it. There should be some cooling effect. But this clothing may also increase isolation if it is not cold anymore. With kind regards, Rainer

Photo of A Pi

Hi Rainer,

Thank you for your interest and feedback. I've updated the post with more info and explanation of the idea and process. I hope it helps, please let me know if you have any other questions. Best Regards A Pi

Photo of Rainer Winkler

Hi A Pi,

thanks for updating the post. I still wait for a quantitative description of the problem (How hot is the environment really, how active are the workers) and on experiments. I am quite sure, that someone makes this, but all people I asked do not know about this. So we will probably learn this in a few month.

And to do measurements ourself to evaluate and improve is difficult without a climate chamber and other tools. And again, I would not even know how hot I shall make the climate for the tests. The resources of USAID appear so limited, that they have no time to give us feedback by experts. And if I try to help you, this takes even more from the limited time, I have for making and proposing own ideas. So, I am sorry, but I cannot help you as much as I would like to.

I will let you know, if I know more.

With kind regards,