Since the outbreak of COVID-19, it has been a real concern for us that the people serving on the healthcare frontlines are not being properly protected. With so much riding on their health and their ability to perform in their role, this sparked an idea which grew into a project, and so, the team at RPB worked tirelessly to design and manufacture that idea into the reality that is the RPB T200 loose-fitting respirator.
With such importance being placed on respiratory protection within healthcare, we have seen the immense opportunity to completely change the way healthcare professionals experience personal protective equipment (PPE). It has become our goal to revolutionize this experience, starting a new movement of real respiratory protection for this industry.
When we began designing the T200, we looked at the core values that make up any role in healthcare, and across every occupation we looked at, it was obvious that the primary reason people begin careers in these fields is because they care. There’s a desire and want to both protect and help make people’s lives better. However, we discovered that PPE creates a physical and psychological barrier that impacts their ability to carry out that very core essence of their jobs. Whether it’s through loss of vision, communication, movement, comfort, fatigue or increased exposure to hazards, these all had a negative impact on their ability to care. Therefore we focused heavily on the user being able to maintain as much of their normal function that they would experience when they are not wearing any PPE, as when they are wearing the T200.
To achieve our goal, comfort was one of our biggest design factors to fulfill. We had seen firsthand accounts of the terrible bruising, skin irritations and extreme discomfort caused from prolonged use of safety glasses and N95s, and we knew we had to get this right in our design to help support this change that’s needed in healthcare. Comfort starts inside the T200 headtop, where there are four points of adjustment which enables every user to achieve a personalized fit, no matter their age, gender or head size or shape. This allows them to change the tightness around the back of the head, over the brow and also to the contours of their cranium. In doing so, the headtop moves with the user, preventing overstraining and significantly reducing discomfort and fatigue.
One of the key considerations we had with the internal design was having the ability to accommodate for the use of optical aids such a loupes. We found that other loose-fitting respirators had minimal room inside, and for those that used N95s they were often using these in conjunction with a face shield which was also unable to accommodate their use of optical aids. To accommodate this we created a system that allows movement of the lens and air ducting inside the headtop to accommodate the user’s specific requirements inside the respirator. This also works as another way of customizing the internal layout of the respirator to suit all facial features.
We found that communication is an essential part of any person’s job within healthcare and this is where PPE is largely impacted on. With the T200’s large visor, the user is able to see and connect clearly to their surroundings no matter the direction they are looking, including peripheral and downward. As the mouth and eyes are left free from obstructions, other staff and patients are able to comprehend both verbal and non-verbal communication much more easily. This not only makes the users job easier but allows them to give the best possible care to their patients, reducing levels of stress, anxiety and frustration.
Another sense that is essential to communication is hearing. It was crucial for us in our design process that the hoods that we created had the ability to accommodate the use of stethoscopes, which is why both our short and medium length hoods can accommodate this basic need while still providing respiratory protection.
In an industry where hygiene is of the utmost importance, we put particular emphasis on this aspect in our design. The T200 hoods are made from DuPont™ Tychem® materials, which can be cleaned and decontaminated while still being cost effective enough to be disposed of as needed. The inner makeup of the respirator is constructed with smooth and simple edges that allow for easy cleaning and decontaminating also.
When paired with our PX5 PAPR, the T200 provides positive pressure respiratory protection that allows users to breathe as they normally would, relieving them of many of the breathing difficulties associated with N95s and surgical masks. Depending on the hood being used, users can receive an Assigned Protection Factor (APF) from 25 to greater than 1000. With the HE filter media removing up to 99.97% of particulates down to 0.12 microns, the PX5 with T200 can ensure that the user will not breathe in any unwanted contaminants or pathogens.
The T200 has been designed specifically for those on the healthcare frontline that need respiratory protection. Join RPB as we embark on this new chapter in protecting people for life’s best moments.