A specially designed pillow, designed for use in hospitals, has won a prestigious innovation prize. The pillow has special properties which protect the patient from bacteria and other hospital acquired infections.
Hospital acquired infections, such as the so-called ‘superbugs’ like MRSA and C. diff are a major concern and can lead to patients contracting serious illnesses. A study by a UK hospital St Bartholomew’s and the London Hospitals Trust found that 70% of pillows in hospitals in the London area were contaminated with pathogenic microorganisms.
In response to the study, and earlier concerns, a company have developed a special pillow for use in hospitals. The pillow features a special micro-porous filter medium which is designed to stop bacteria from penetrating the pillow. The filter is of a nano-scopic pore size which is a proven barrier to viruses (0.4 microns), bacteria (0.8 microns) and dust mite allergens (2 micron). A micron is a very small measurement, equivalent to one-thousandth of a millimetre, 0.001 mm, or about 0.000039 inches.
The pillow has been developed by the Irish company Gabriel Scientific. It is called the “SleepAngel”. The filter is a patented PneumaPure Filter medium, adapted from membranes used in heart stents. The filter is sealed into the pillow by high frequency welding of the seams, rather than conventional sewing.
Despite the special anti-bacterial filter, the pillow has been designed in a way which keeps it soft to the touch and it also allows air to flow through the pillow so that the pillow does not become hot or uncomfortable.
The pillow has been assessed by some independent microbiology laboratories, including Nelson Laboratories, in the US.
The Irish Times reports that pillow recently won a prize for innovation at the InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards held in Dublin and is being taken up by a number of hospitals worldwide. It is possible that the technology will be extended to hospital duvet and mattress covers.