Isolation gowns are an important element of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) in healthcare settings. Isolation gowns can range in their protective capacity, but they generally serve as an infection control gown, protecting the wearer from infectious liquids and solids and preventing them from passing on any of their own microorganisms. These gowns may also be referred to as surgical gowns, surgical isolation gowns, procedural gowns, cover gowns or operating room gowns.
The CPAP Clinic is a medical specialist group and a proud supplier of disposable isolation gowns and other medical gowns in Australia. We have isolation gowns for sale, with clinicians available to answer any questions you may have. We can be contacted by calling 1300 76 29 39 or emailing us on email@example.com.
Purpose of Isolation Gowns
Isolation gowns are an important element of PPE in infection control. When used in conjunction with gloves, hand sanitiser, and disinfectants, isolation gowns can help stop the spread of diseases and microbes. Medical gowns and isolation gowns help protect the wearer from contact with blood and bodily fluids, as well as any other microorganisms that might be in the environment or infected patient. Isolation gowns also protect patients from any microorganisms the healthcare worker might pass on, particularly during invasive procedures.
As a result, isolation gowns (disposable or re-useable) should be worn whenever a person is at risk of coming into contact with blood or bodily fluids, when performing an invasive procedure, or when caring for an infectious patient under contact isolation precautions. They should be reserved for healthcare workers, as patient gowns are suitable for most other purposes. Isolation gowns should also be made of a material that is impervious to liquid penetration.
Types of Isolation Gowns
Isolation gowns may be advertised under many different names, including surgical gowns, medical gowns, surgical isolation gowns, procedural gowns, cover gowns or operating room gowns. Although these names are not necessarily standardised, isolation gowns for sale especially in Australia should be labelled with the intended use and level of protection. Isolation gowns may be sterile or non-sterile depending on their purpose, and can be graded according to the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) as level 1-4. Sterile isolation gowns should always be used in surgery, but for other applications non-sterile isolation gowns are suitable. The grading of isolation gowns or medical gowns by the AAMI can be summarised as follows:
- Level 1: Minimal level of fluid barrier protection, for minimal risk procedures such as basic care
- Level 2: Low level of fluid barrier protection, for low risk procedures such as drawing blood
- Level 3: Moderate level of fluid barrier protection, for moderate risk procedures such as inserting as IV line
- Level 4: Highest level of fluid and viral barrier protection, for high risk procedures such as surgery
If you are looking at isolation gowns for sale, it is important to make sure they meet the AAMI standards suitable for the procedures you are intending them for.
How to put on and take off an isolation gown
Isolation gowns are generally fairly simple to put on. However, as an infection control gown, it is important to make sure these medical gowns are put on and taken off carefully to prevent cross contamination. Here are some simple steps you can follow:
- Perform hand hygiene before donning any PPE, using soap or a hand sanitiser
- Slide arms through the sleeves, and make sure the gown fully covers the torso from the neck to the knees, and the arms down to the wrists.
- Fasten the gown at the back of the neck (unless it is an apron style) and at the waist
- Perform hand hygiene
- Put gloves on, making sure to put these on after and to cover the cuffs of the isolation gown.
Isolation gowns are considered contaminated after one use. This makes it important to remove them carefully. For disposable isolation gowns, whilst wearing gloves you can simply pull the front of the gown to break the ties. The outside should only be touched with gloved hands. As you remove the gown, the gloves can be peeled off from the inside as well and discarded.
For non-disposable isolation gowns, you can follow these steps:
- Remove any gloves, and perform hand hygiene
- Unfasten the gown ties, making sure not to contact your body or clothes when reaching for the ties
- Pull the gown away from the neck and shoulder, only touching the inside of the gown
- Turn the gown inside out, fold or roll it into a bundle and discard it into a waste container
- Perform hand hygiene
As with any new form of PPE, professionals should be trained in the correct way to use any medical gowns. The above is only a guide.