Protective equipment (PPE), such as medical gowns, is used to protect patients and their loved ones from infectious diseases. Protective gowns are essential for patient care and medical professional safety.
For many years, isolation gowns have been in use. Healthcare workers and staff at hospitals are increasingly concerned about the spread of infectious diseases and safety in their healthcare settings. This concern has led to a surge in global demand for gowns and other PPE products.
The second most commonly used PPE in healthcare is hospital gowns. In healthcare facilities, gloves are more commonly used than hospital gowns. Not all gowns provide the same level of protection. Some gowns have long sleeves that protect the entire arm. Others are waterproof. Many can be reused, even though most of them are disposable. It is important for anyone who works with medical professionals or in infection control to be aware of the types and styles of gowns available.
There is a difference between Surgical and Isolation gowns
Two of the most popular types of PPE are surgical gowns and isolation gowns. They are different, but they aren’t the same. You could be at greater risk of infection if you substitute one for the other.
FDA-regulated surgical gowns are Class II medical devices. These medical products are intended for use by medical personnel during different types of surgery. These gowns are designed to protect patients and the wearer from harmful microorganisms, bodily fluids, and other hazardous particles.
Every surgical gown has critical zones. These are areas that have the greatest risk of coming into direct contact with blood, bodily fluids, or infectious substances. With surgical gowns, the critical zones extend from the top of your shoulders to the knees.
All risk levels are suitable for surgical gowns, from 1 to 4. These gowns are marked with a label that says “Surgeon’s gown”.
The critical zones of protection, testing and the main difference between and isolation gowns is. Although surgical gowns can act as protective barriers, the backs of these gowns are not required to do so. Isolation gowns must protect the entire back with a minimum of Level 1 barrier performance.
Isolation gowns can be used when the risk of infection or transmission is high. They are also used for situations where there is a greater need for protection.
The critical areas of protection for an isolation gown include all parts, except bindings, cuffs, and hems. They must be able to provide liquid barrier protection at the highest level. Also, seams should have the same liquid barrier protection that the rest of the gown. Isolation gowns should not cover more body than necessary.
Different types of isolation gowns
Isolation gowns can be classified into four levels of protection. These standards specify the testing procedures and desired results that will determine whether isolation gowns provide adequate protection.
Each piece’s liquid barrier performance is the main focus of the gown levels. The gowns should be fluid-resistant and protect the wearer against harmful pathogenic microorganisms. Protection is more important as the risk level increases. Level 1 gowns protect against fluid barrier damage, while level 4 protects against fluid contamination and viral protection.
- Level 1 – is for use in low-risk situations or regular hospital care, such as basic healthcare. These items are often available for visitors at hospitals. These gowns are not suitable for ICU procedures or blood draws.
- Level 2 – For use in low-risk medical situations such as drawing blood, or to wear in pathology labs or ICUs that do not require sterile gowns. These items have been rigorously tested for fluid resistance. They are more resistant to fluid penetration than level 1.
- Level 3 – for use in moderate-risk medical situations. You can draw blood from the arteries, inject intravenous (IV), lines, or visit the Emergency Room (ER), for trauma cases. They are tested for efficacy in preventing fluid transmission and infection from splatter, soaking, and splashing.
- Level 4 – for use in high-risk medical circumstances. These gowns can be used in operating rooms that use sterile equipment. These gowns are made from specially-tested fabrics to prevent virus and fluid penetration. They can be exposed to simulated virus-contaminated human blood during testing. They are used in fluid intensive procedures, surgery, as well as when pathogen resistance is needed for potential infectious diseases.
There are many types of gowns available within these levels.
- Isolation gowns
- Gowns made of latex
- Reusable gowns
- Isolation gown made of waterproof polyester
- Non-surgical gowns
- Procedural gowns
- Cover gowns
The Right Isolation Gown
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), recommends that employers, healthcare professionals, and hospital managers consider these factors before selecting the best gowns for their needs.
The purpose of the PPE
Consider the purpose of the gown, the person who will wear it, and the activities they will be engaging in while wearing it. Some gowns come in one-size-fits-all or universal sizes. They are also available in different sizes. If possible, make sure that the gown is properly sized for maximum protection.
There are many types of gowns. Disposable isolation gowns, for example, are made of polyethylene. Reusable isolation gowns, on the other hand, are made mostly from synthetic materials or cotton. Different options should be available to staff depending on what medical equipment is available in the facility and their budget.
When choosing an isolation gown, you should consider the risk involved in the situation. A level 1 gown is sufficient if you are only using the gown for basic care procedures. A level 4 gown is required if you are purchasing equipment for more complex surgeries.
Isolation gowns for COVID-19
Medical institutions all over the globe experienced shortages of PPE during the COVID-19 pandemic. This included isolation gowns. A combination of PPE and medical staff has made it essential to ensure the safety and health of patients and medical personnel. To increase supply, Emergency Use Authorizations were issued in certain cases.
Non-sterile gowns for Level 1 and Level 2 are most common. If fluid exposure is low or minimal, they can be used by COVID-19 workers and patients. These gowns, which are typically sterile, should be used for COVID-19 patients or hospital staff where the risk of infection via bodily fluids is moderate to high.
The synthetic material gown performs better than cotton in preventing fluid penetration and minimizing the risk for COVID-19 spread.
How to don and doff an isolation gown
If gloves, masks, and gowns are not properly put on and removed, they can cause contamination. These items must be used safely by doctors, nurses, and any other medical professionals. These are the steps to apply and remove an isolation gown.
Donning the Gown
- Sanitize your hands
- The right material, type, size, and style gown is essential for this task
- The gown should be pulled down to the neck
- Let the gown unfold completely
- Start by putting your arms in the sleeves. Next, place your hands in the thumb loop and elastic.
- The gown can be worn over your head.
- Secure the gown by tying it and making sure your back is covered
Doffing the Gown
- You can remove any neckties or waistbands
- Take the gown off your neck and shoulders.
- Fold the infected side towards the inside of the gown until it is neatly folded.
- You should ensure that the clean area is visible and that it is not covered by the contaminated area.
- You can safely throw the gown away
High-quality medical gowns
It can be difficult to determine what type of PPE you require, especially in a pandemic. It is easier to understand the purpose of medical gowns and which types are best suited for specific medical situations. It doesn’t matter what kind of medical equipment or PPE you require, it is important to buy quality materials from a trusted source.
We offer a range of medical gowns from levels 1 through 4. We also offer gloves, masks, and face shields, as well as PPE, and medical gowns in Canada. If you need more information or have questions about our equipment, please call us, send an email, or visit the website.
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