Decontamination system claimed to support reuse of healthcare PPE

PPE decontamination system

Described as a range of state of the art UV-C disinfection chambers for the healthcare industry, the Mackwell Health Whitebox is seemingly equipped to quickly and reliably disinfect personal protective equipment (PPE) in compliance with healthcare regulations and guidelines.

The product is a collaborative effort between medical equipment maker Mackwell Health and Whitebox, a Swedish-based provider of surface and air disinfection solutions.

Estimates show the NHS and social care segments spent roughly £500 million on disposable respiratory PPE in 2020. 60% of that cost was spent on higher performance tight fitting FFP grade respirators, with the remainder being disposable Type IIR loose fitting surgical masks. However, FFP respirators only accounted for 5% of the total volume of this PPE. With health staff and trade associations continuing to lobby for improvements in worker protection by increasing the usage of FFP respirators, the resulting uplift in volume would create a significantly increased cost burden for disposable masks and respirators.

Disposable PPE also creates a major environmental challenge, with each item containing significant amounts of single-use non-recyclable plastic materials. Reusable respirators and masks offer the potential to address both environmental and economic challenges. With the healthcare community having expressed concerns over the ability to effectively decontaminate items between use, this partnership between Mackwell Health and Whitebox is a bid to address those concerns and introduce a reliable and more sustainable solution.

Promoting a sustainable and economic approach to respiratory PPE, the Mackwell Health Whitebox can also be programmed to disinfect items used more broadly across the healthcare industry. For example, optometrists – who need to disinfect lenses and spectacle frames – or dentists – who rely on sterile dental implements with every patient – can leverage the Mackwell Health Whitebox for a sustainable solution to disinfection. Programmes have already been created to disinfect reusable respirators, as well as systems such as Mackwell Health’s own ProtectivAIR® UV-powered respirator system.

Backed by government laboratory evidence, scientific models can be created for specific items of medical equipment, which allows the programming of automated treatment cycles, tailored to the object to be treated, to achieve a targeted level of disinfection. Through the Mackwell Health Whitebox, 4 log (99.99%) disinfection for reusable PPE can be achieved using cycles of between 30 seconds and 1 minute – depending on the item.

Available in Mini, Micro and Wheelchair-sized boxes, The Mackwell Health Whitebox aims to provide a practical solution for health staff, NHS Trusts, primary care organisations and other stakeholders in the Health and social care sector. Described as portable, convenient and user friendly, boxes can fit in places like benches and desktops.