Assessing functional state of the body when wearing a reusable protective suit to minimize risks of contagion among medical personnel

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A.B. Yudin1, M.V. Kaltygin1, E.A. Konovalov1, A.A. Vlasov1, D.A. Altov1, V.E. Batov2, A.E. Shiryaeva1, E.A. Yakunchikova1, O.A. Danilova1


1State Scientific Research Test Institute of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, 4 Lesoparkovaya Str., St. Petersburg, 195043, Russian Federation
2S.M. Kirov Military Medical Academy of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, 6 Akademika Lebedeva Str., St. Petersburg, 194044, Russian Federation


Personal protective equipment has become the last line of protection for medical personnel during the pandemic of the new coronavirus infection since it allows minimizing risks of biological contagion. Given the existing staffing shortage, medical workers have to spend from 4 to 12 hours a day in the “red zone” where they necessarily wear personal protective equipment. Protective clothing is known to produce negative effects on functional state of the body and personnel’s working capacities. Assessment of up-to-date protective suits will allow developing recommendations on their suitable application bearing in mind a balance between necessary protection, providing favorable ergonomics, and reducing risks of adverse effects on functional state and working capacities.

Our research aim was to hygienically assess health risks for medical workers who had to wear reusable protective suits.

Our research object was a reusable suit made from polyether fabric with polyurethane membrane coating and antistatic threads. We performed an experiment aimed at evaluating thermal state of the body, psychophysiological state, and responses by the volunteers’ cardiorespiratory system in laboratory conditions during an 80 hour working shift under controlled microclimate. Participants in the experiment were questioned in order to assess suits’ ergonomics.

Heat exchange dynamics and amount of changes in thermal physiological parameters caused by wearing a protective suit determined heat contents of volunteers’ bodies that conformed to optimal standard values. Data on psychophysiological and mental state taken in research dynamics didn’t have any statistically significant changes. Gas exchange indicators naturally grew during the “load” phase; however, there were no significant changes detected in any phase in the research.

Hygienic assessment of the thermal state, functional state of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, and psychophysio-logical indicators confirmed that wearing a protective suit was quite safe and didn’t involve any health risks for volunteers.

personal protective equipment, health risk, thermal state of the body, functional state of the body, gas exchange, psychophysiological indicators
Yudin A.B., Kaltygin M.V., Konovalov E.A., Vlasov A.A., Altov D.A., Batov V.E., Shiryaeva A.E., Yakunchikova E.А., Danilova O.A. Assessing functional state of the body when wearing a reusable protective suit to minimize risks of contagion among medical personnel. Health Risk Analysis, 2021, no. 4, pp. 151–160. DOI: 10.21668/health.risk/2021.4.17.eng
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