Bug busting pillow wins product innovation prize
The SleepAngel pillow features a patented PneumaPure Filter medium
A pillow aimed at reducing the risk of patients contracting hospital acquired infections has won the inventors, Gabriel Scientific, overall prize at the InterTradeIreland Innovation Awards in Dublin in March.
Bedding and pillows can be reservoirs for infectious agents such as MRSA, C.difficile and Norovirus. St Bartholomew’s and the London Hospitals Trust conducted an investigator led study into pillows and found that 70% of those tested were contaminated by microbiological pathogens.
The pillow invented by Dublin-based Gabriel Scientific and marketed as the SleepAngel pillow, features a patented PneumaPure Filter medium, adapted from membranes used in heart stents to keep out bacteria.
The patented micro-porous membrane acts as a filter medium effective against even the smallest microbial germs. The filter is sealed into the pillow by high frequency welding of the seams, rather than conventional sewing.
The durable, soft to touch textile blocks out contaminants while enabling vapour and heat to travel away from the sleeper. The breathable mechanical filter allows clean airflow into the pillow but provides a barrier to hospital cross-infection from contaminated bedding. The key characteristics of PneumaPure technology is the nano-scopic filter pore size which is a proven barrier to viruses (0.4 microns), bacteria (0.8 microns) and dust mite allergens (2 micron).
The company describes PneumaPure Filter Technology as a synthetic skin with enhanced osmosis properties. No chemical or bacterial agents are used and the product can be effectively cleaned and disinfected by wiping down with standard hospital cleaning products and protocols.
Poor maintenance of pillows may lead to biological staining of the covers or even inner surfaces of the pillows. This damage can actively promote the growth of micro-organisms, which are a potential cause of cross infection within the associated bed an indeed throughout the hospital.
The St Bart’s study indicated that there are significant clinical and health and safety risks in current provision of pillows in the healthcare environment.
The Gabriel Scientific product has been independently tested in by microbial specialist, Nelson Laboratories, in the US, and tested as effective barrier against MRSA, C-Diff, Norovirus and others at the Centexbel (EU accredited laboratory. The Irish Medicine Board audited and approved the pillow in June 2010.
The SleepAngel pillow has been sold into leading hospitals including University College Hospital Galway, Wexford General Hospital, RetroScreen Virology, London, St Barts and the London Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust and leading European and Scandinavian hospitals and university hospitals.
The company has just signed an international licensing agreement to open the Japanese market and has a successful distribution partnership in Scandinavia. Further technology licences along the Asia Pacific rim, Europe and Northern America will be concluded over the coming year.
A pipeline of new products including duvet and mattress covers, and veterinary, clinical and leisure applications is in development.
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