Surgical Gowns

A Complete Guide to Isolation & Surgical Gowns

Textile materials and personal protective equipment (PPE) used in health care settings are a source of cross-infection, despite their critical role in infection prevention and control. Surgical gowns in bulk are recommended in some settings to prevent infectious diseases spread. However, laboratory and field studies have produced mixed results regarding their efficacy. 

In the USA, personal protective equipment (PPE) used in health care is classified as either class I or class II. Many organizations have published guidelines for PPE use in health care settings, including isolation gowns. Furthermore, the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation published a gown selection guide standard for surgical and isolation gowns. Let’s look closely at the different gown types and their uses. 

An overview of Isolation Gowns 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), like isolation gowns, covers the torso, arms, and clothing. They are a liquid barrier against blood, bodily fluids, and other infectious substances. The isolation gowns serve two functions: they protect healthcare workers from potential contaminants. And they keep healthcare workers from spreading microorganisms that could harm vulnerable patients.  

Isolation gowns are worn during procedures and patient-care activities in which the healthcare worker expects to come into contact with patient clothing, blood, bodily fluids, secretions, or excretions. The type of isolation gown required determines the nature of the patient interaction and the level of risk. Contact medical PPE suppliers in the USA to buy accordingly. 

Types of isolation gowns 

According to the FDA, there are two types of isolation gowns: 

  • Surgical isolation gowns 
  • Non-surgical isolation gowns 

There are clean and sterile versions of these, as well as different levels of barrier protection. 

Surgical isolation gowns 

Surgical isolation gowns protect medium to high-risk situations, such as arterial blood draws, IV line insertion, fluid-intensive procedures, or the presence of non-airborne infectious diseases. 

Surgical isolation gowns have larger critical zones than surgical gown. Apart from the bindings, cuffs, and hems, every part of the gown must provide the highest level of liquid protection for which the isolation gown rates. Contact to buy disposable gowns in bulk to distribute among the community. 

Surgical isolation gowns are classified as a Class II medical device and must be approved by the FDA before they are on the market. 

Non-surgical isolation gowns  

The critical zones of non-surgical isolation gowns are the same as those of surgical isolation gowns. The distinction is that non-surgical gown are Class I medical devices and thus do not require FDA approval. 

Non-surgical isolation gowns are only worn when it is little to no risk, such as during care, during standard isolation, as a visitor cover gown, or in a medical unit. 

Difference between an isolation gown and a surgical gown 

The primary distinction between surgical and isolation gowns is the designation of critical protection zones. 

The critical zones in surgical gowns are as follows: 

  • Front of the body, from the top of the shoulders to the knees  
  • Arms from the wrist cuff to above the elbow 

In isolation gowns, the critical zones of protection are much larger and extend almost the entire length of the isolation gown, excluding the bindings, cuffs, and hems. 

Materials used for making surgical gowns 

Surgical gowns were traditionally tightly woven with cotton muslin and treated with fluid repellant. Most reusable isolation gowns are made of polyester or a polycotton blend reinforced with coatings, laminates, or plastic film. 

Tightly woven polyester fabrics are typically stiffer and hotter, making polyester gowns unsuitable for healthcare workers. Polycotton blends are more comfortable but are less effective as a liquid barrier. Lightweight nonwoven fabrics such as spunlace, spun-bond-meltblown-spunbond (SMS), and wet-laid makes up these disposable surgical gowns in bulk. One study discovered that nonwoven fabrics with SMS structure provided the same comfort as microfiber garments. 

Reusability of surgical gowns  

Woven surgical gowns are reusable, but with one caveat: the gown’s protective properties fade with repeated wetting or laundering. Because of this, most surgeries are performed using disposable surgical gown in bulk or drapes, despite the environmental impact and increased cost over time. 

A recent study comparing disposable versus reusable medical gowns discovered that the market’s Level 1 and 2 disposable gowns did not meet AAMI specifications for impact penetration water resistance. Aside from the higher costs and carbon footprint, disposable gowns may not protect healthcare workers and reusable ones. 

It combined with a lack of PPE, is one of the reasons why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended a switch to “cloth gowns” in March 2020. According to CDC-recommended wash procedures, the reusable medical gowns retained their protective properties even after 75 washes when laundered. 

AAMI protection levels 

The Association of Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) developed standards to classify the liquid barrier protection of protective gowns in collaboration with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). 

Level 4 surgical gowns provide the most protection, while Level 1 provides the least. These levels of protection are the same for surgical and non-surgical gown as long as they meet AAMI standards. 

Product names on the market are inconsistent and can be perplexing. Hospitals should look for product labeling that specifies the appropriate AAMI level of protection for procedures performed in the healthcare facility, regardless of the product name. 

Conclusion: Because of the rigorous testing AAMI gowns are significantly more expensive. Non-AAMI isolation gowns are used to protect employees and patients during routine tasks in dental, healthcare, research, and pharmaceutical settings where classification is less stringent. Contact medical gown manufacturers in the USA for a genuine buy. 

Frequently Asked Question

What is the function of an isolation gown? 

A medical gown is to protect healthcare workers and patients from the spread of microorganisms and particulate matter. 

When should a medical gown be replaced or discarded? 

All PRIMED medical gowns are for one-time use only. It means that isolation gowns should be discarded if they have been soiled, by any type of fluid. 

What exactly are isolation gowns? 

Isolation gown protects your frontline caregivers and staff from infectious droplets and prevents the spread of microorganisms to vulnerable residents. 

Know the Real Value of Personal Protective Equipment Amid Covid-19 & Stay Protected

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • No products in the cart.