Croda International Plc, which uses smart science to create, make and sell speciality chemicals that improve lives, is pleased to announce that studies have shown that cooling vests containing its CrodaTherm™ technology have proved effective in reducing the perception of heat strain by nurses caring for COVID-19 patients. As a result, the technology is now part of standard medical scrubs for nurses in the Netherlands.
During live studies at Radboud University Medical Centre (RUMC), INUTEQ® cooling vests, which contain the CrodaTherm phase change materials, were shown to significantly reduce nurses’ perception of heat strain. The hospital study, conducted by The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) and RMUC, monitored seventeen nurses from COVID care wards over two days, both wearing and not wearing the cooling vests. The study measured, among other things, body temperature and heart rate, as well as subjective measures, such as comfort and heat experience. The results, now published in Temperature, showed that wearing the cooling vest had little effect on core body temperature, but reduced the perception of heat strain , probably due to improved comfort at skin-level.
Treating patients with COVID-19 sees care professionals wearing multiple layers of PPE, which has led to increasing reports of heat strain. To mitigate these issues during shifts, and to make care workers more comfortable, the INUTEQ® cooling vests are now part of the standard medical scrub for nurses involved in the care of COVID-19 patients at RMUC. This new study comes after extensive use of the cooling vests by Dutch hospitals throughout the pandemic.
Yannick de Korte, PhD student in the physiologist department and co-researcher of the COOLVID study said: “Without a cooling vest, almost 90% of nurses experience discomfort and warmth. Only 20-30% of the participants experience this discomfort with a cooling vest, making working conditions more comfortable. Almost everyone says: ‘I can work with a cooling vest as I normally work without protective clothing.’”
Croda is partner and exclusive supplier of phase change materials to INUTEQ® BV, a Netherlands-based company and a world leader in the development and manufacture of personal cooling apparel. INUTEQ® is Croda’s exclusive technology partner in the field of personal cooling.
Martin Butters, Business Development Manager at Croda said: “These study results are another example of how our smart science has made a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are delighted that our innovative technology is helping medical teams doing such amazing work, and it is fantastic that we can add reducing heat perception as another way we have made a difference during the pandemic.”