By Eleanor Hayward Health Reporter For The Daily Mail
Published: 22:00 BST, 1 May 2020 | Updated: 22:00 BST, 1 May 2020
Hospitals are pioneering re-usable protective kit which is designed to 'last the whole coronavirus epidemic'.
The new type of personal protective equipment could provide a long-term solution to critical shortages.
Every day in hospitals around the country, medical staff put about 150,000 lifesaving surgical gowns or coveralls into clinical waste bins after they have been used.
Then, along with hundreds of thousands of single-use surgical masks, aprons and gloves, they are sent to landfill or for incineration.
Now several hospitals are seeking a more sustainable alternative to this 'hand to mouth' dependence on single-use PPE.
Pictured: Re-usable protective hoods have been developed at Southampton University to help prevent NHS shortages
The re-usable PPE, designed by British scientists and manufacturers, has the potential to replace throwaway items.
In Derbyshire, women's fashion firm David Nieper has created a re-usable surgical gown which can be laundered by hospitals.
Tests show the 'parachute gown' remains sterile and waterproof even after 100 washes at 73C (163F).
The gowns comply with the highest European safety standards. The first 1,000 will be delivered to a local hospital in Derby next week, with thousands more to be sent out to other hospitals in the coming weeks.sonos sonos One (Gen 2) - Voice Controlled Smart Speaker with