Karen Haberland, Senior Project Officer

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The Insidious Dangers of Disposable Isolation Gowns—and How to Address Them

Posted by Karen Haberland, Senior Project Officer on Feb 6, 2024

Isolation gowns are a longstanding infection control tool across hospital settings. These garments are intended to safeguard patients and clinicians by preventing the spread of disease-causing microorganisms. But do today’s disposable gowns provide the degree of protection healthcare workers assume? Not necessarily.

ECRI believes there is a disparity between healthcare workers’ perceptions and actual gown performance. Consider, for example, this 2012 survey of infection preventionists. It found that about one-quarter of these professionals encountered strikethrough and 45% encountered tearing of gowns. What’s more, while a sizable portion had seen issues related to disposable gowns, half lacked the training to understand why. 

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Topics: Infection Prevention

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