Ebola Concerns Create Demand for ILC Dover Product - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ebola Concerns Create Demand for ILC Dover Product


FREDERICA, Del. (WBOC) - Part of the battle to protect healthcare workers from contracting Ebola while caring for patients is being waged on Delmarva at Kent County-based ILC Dover.

The company makes a lot of soft good products. The long list includes gear for healthcare workers. It is a self-contained system that protects them from infectious diseases, like Ebola.

Michelle Newland, a project engineer at ILC Dover, says the Sentinel XL Powered Air Purifying Respirator pulls in air, filters it and provides clean air for the user.

"The powered air purifying respirator provides protection with the blower. It also has a shroud at the bottom of the hood, which protects against liquid as a splash guard for the user."

The ILC Dover product you're likely most familiar with is the spacesuit. The company says many of the same considerations and some of the same technologies that go into protecting someone from the hazards of space also go into protecting healthcare workers on Earth.

"Currently our product is being used out in the field by nurses and other healthcare workers to be protected from infectious diseases," said Newland.

Newland says demand for the product has shot up recently.

"In the last week and a half, we've had an influx of orders across the United States for healthcare workers," she said. "Basically, the hospitals are ramping up, trying to get equipment in house to prepare for the potential that an Ebola patient comes into their facility."

She says the gear provides dramatically more protection for those workers than the N-95 masks you're used to seeing EMTs, nurses and doctors wear.

Those masks have a protection factor of ten. ILC Dover's product has a protection factor of 1,000.

Newland says with the new guidelines for worker safety gear released by CDC Monday she expects a continued increase in demand in this product area. ILC Dover's system is not the only option when it comes to this kind of protective equipment.

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