Safety researchers find some isolation gowns need improvement

Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have found that many isolation gowns do not provide enough protection for hospital workers.

Researchers tested 22 separate gown models provided by a number of manufacturers. Seven of the tested gowns “did not meet ANSI/AAMI PB70 liquid barrier performance standard for protective apparel and drapes.” When it came to rips and tears, “seams and ties on some gowns were not constructed adequately to keep liquids and/or viruses from penetrating at these particular points of the isolation gowns.”

Unfortunately, we may have to wait to find out which gowns failed the tests. The researchers did not release which gowns failed, but they did inform the manufacturers. Those manufacturers should notify customers and recall the defective gowns.

The American Society for Testing and Materials will be releasing new standard specifications for isolation gowns. When those new standards are released, employers should make sure their gowns meet the new standards.

You can read the results of their study here.