A novel personal protective equipment coverall was rated higher than standard Ebola virus personal protective equipment in terms of comfort, mobility and perception of safety when tested by health care workers in Liberia and in a United States biocontainment unit

Brian T. Garibaldi, Chandrakant Ruparelia, Kathryn Shaw-Saliba, Lauren M. Sauer, Lisa L. Maragakis, Margaret Glancey, Marion Subah, Allyson R. Nelson, Colby Wilkason, Laura Scavo, Lindsay Litwin, Patience Osei, Youseph Yazdi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: During the 2014-2016 Ebola virus epidemic, more than 500 health care workers (HCWs) died in spite of the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The Johns Hopkins University Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID) and Jhpiego, an international nongovernmental organization affiliate of Johns Hopkins, collaborated to create new PPE to improve the ease of the doffing process. Methods: HCWs in Liberia and a US biocontainment unit compared standard Médecins Sans Frontière PPE (PPE A) with the new PPE (PPE B). Participants wore each PPE ensemble while performing simulated patient care activities. Range of motion, time to doff, comfort, and perceived risk were measured. Results: Overall, 100% of participants preferred PPE B over PPE A (P <.0001); 98.1% of respondents would recommend PPE B for their home clinical unit (P <.0001). There was a trend towards greater comfort in PPE B. HCWs at both sites felt more at risk in PPE A than PPE B (71.9% vs 25% in Liberia, P <.0001; 100% vs 40% in the US biocontainment unit, P <.0001). Conclusions: HCWs preferred a new PPE ensemble to Médecins Sans Frontière PPE for high-consequence pathogens. Further studies on the safety of this new PPE need to be conducted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-304
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Infection Control
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2019



  • Health care worker safety
  • High consequence pathogens
  • Infection prevention
  • Viral hemorrhagic fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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