MEXICO CITY – A graduate of Mexico’s National Polytechnic Institute has designed a pair of pants that protect paraplegics against burns, scrapes and friction, the institution reported Tuesday in a communique.
The garment, according to its designer Foed Alejandro Vivanco Lopez, is made of a material used in the military sector, specifically in ballistics, and its main advantage is that it protects against high temperatures.
“The legs of these people are used to support various objects, including their food,” on plates that are sometimes hot, he said.
Vivanco Lopez, a graduate of the ESIT textile engineering school, said that 60 percent of the people in this situation have sores on their legs, and they have to take a lot of time dressing and undressing.
“In Mexico, 6 percent of the ... population (approximately 7.1 million people) suffer from difficulties walking and have vision problems,” according to the INEGI national statistics and geography institute, Vivanco Lopez said.
The main characteristics of the prototype are that it’s made of Kevlar, covering the thighs and the calves.
The designer said that everyone using a wheelchair should use a cushion to prevent the formation of pressure ulcers.
“You can insert or remove from the prototype a cushion with a waterproof cover made of polyurethane foam, which provides protection and can be washed,” he said.
The pants are designed for use in a seated position. They have a high back, a long strap, the legs are even longer. It has Velcro pockets to prevent losing objects, a keyholder and reflecting tape for nighttime use.
The idea, he said, is to present the garment to hospitals, firms selling orthopedic products and public and private clinics so that via these routes it can be made available to paraplegics.
“Down the road, production of different designs, colors and sizes will commence. The cost of the prototype was 2,000 pesos ($103), but with greater production the cost would drop,” Vivanco Lopez said.