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Can disposable surgical gowns replace isolation gowns?

Nov. 19, 2020

The novel coronavirus pneumonia epidemic has come unexpectedly. In order to protect the occupational safety of medical workers, the national, provincial, and municipal health and health commissions frequently issue requirements for occupational protection of medical workers, and medical workers also require hospitals to be equipped with protective materials such as isolation gowns. Fortunately, clever women can hardly cook without rice. Due to insufficient reserves of protective materials such as isolation gowns in hospitals, all hospitals have replaced isolation gowns with Disposable Surgical Gowns.

Here comes the question: Can disposable surgical gowns replace isolation gowns?

Isolation gowns are used to protect medical staff from being contaminated by blood, body fluids and other infectious substances, or to protect patients from infection. It is often used in operations where blood and body fluid splashing may occur; when contacting patients with infectious diseases and multi-drug resistant bacteria spread by contact; and when implementing protective isolation for patients with extensive burns and bone marrow transplantation.

There is currently no technical standard for isolation gowns in my country, and most of the isolation gowns used in clinical practice are made of cloth materials with a long history. Since Non Woven Isolation Gown cannot be discarded once they are worn once during use, and the procedures must be strictly followed during repeated wearing and taking off, the operation is cumbersome and easy to contaminate, and it needs to be cleaned and disinfected after use. Disposable surgical gowns are easy to obtain and easy to put on and take off. Therefore, some hospitals use disposable surgical gowns instead of isolation gowns.

Non Woven Isolation Gown

Non Woven Isolation Gown

Regarding the quality standards of disposable surgical gowns, the US Occupational Safety and Health Management Committee requires surgical gowns to develop different protection levels based on the volume or total amount of blood and body fluids produced during the operation and the duration of the operation, mainly including The following three aspects: ①The area exposed to the blood, including the face, limbs, etc., and the way of exposure, including pressure, flowing liquid, and water droplets. ② Exposure to blood and body fluids. ③The duration of the operation ranges from short-term intravenous injection to long-term cardiothoracic surgery. According to OSHA's protection regulations, the American Association for the Advancement of Medical Devices (AAMI) divides the protective performance of surgical gown materials into four levels from low to high.

At present, my country has not issued a national or industry standard for disposable surgical gowns. For reference, the "Guidelines for Technical Review of Disposable Surgical Gown Products Registration" issued by the State Food and Drug Administration (Food and Drug Administration Office Letter [2011 ] No. 187). According to this guideline, disposable surgical gowns are divided into two types: standard performance and high-performance. High-performance surgical gowns are suitable for operations where there are known infectious viruses in the blood of patients or when it is unknown whether there are infectious viruses in the blood during emergency rescue. The standard performance surgical gown is suitable for surgery where there is no infectious virus in the blood of the patient.

Disposable surgical gowns made of non-woven fabrics have good anti-permeation barrier function and anti-bacterial performance against liquids, and can form a reliable protective barrier. Although cotton isolation clothing can block a certain amount of microorganisms in a dry state, pathogenic bacteria will penetrate the isolation clothing through liquid and lose its protective ability when it is contaminated with blood or wet. From the comparison of protection ability, disposable surgical gown is better than isolation gown, so it can be used instead of isolation gown.

Due to the high cost of disposable surgical gowns and the environmental protection problems that arise when it is treated as medical waste, it is not recommended to use disposable surgical gowns to replace Isolation Gowns, and can be selectively substituted according to different operations.