Reusable Isolation Gowns Outperform Disposable in Protection, Durability, Environment and Comfort

Reusable Isolation GownsShortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and medical professionals brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have required new strategies in the selection and management of PPE, which typically includes eye protection, face masks and shields, gloves, head and shoe coverings and isolation gowns. The so-called “surge capacity” status initiated at the onset of the pandemic continues to the present time. One finding that emerged amongst all the medical supply chain disruption in the last year is the efficacy of reusable medical isolation gowns.

Identified as the second-most-used piece of PPE1 following gloves, isolation gowns work to protect health care workers from potentially contaminated bodily fluids. Reusable, or washable, isolation gowns have measurable performance advantages over disposable gowns, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC)2. Faultless Healthcare Linen’s AAMI-rated level 2 isolation gown meets a higher standard as a solution for health systems looking to provide its staff with quality personal protective gowns.

The October 2020 study, “Disposable versus reusable medical gowns: A performance comparison,” measures how disposable and reusable medical isolation gowns performed across tests that included water resistance, hydrostatic pressure (pressure exerted by a fluid at rest due to the force of gravity) and durability assessments. The study’s water resistance chart3 shows the average impact penetration of disposable gowns and reusable gowns after 1, 25, 50 and 75 industrial launderings. In all tests, reusable gowns outperformed disposable gowns.

One of the points in the study’s findings spoke to the durability and economy of washable, reusable gowns:

“To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to assess the performance of reusable gowns over their wash life. These findings support the durability of reusable gowns, making them more economical than disposable gowns and providing greater protection for HCWs (healthcare workers). This is especially important in times of PPE shortages, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, for which the CDC recommended the use of cloth gowns.”4

An AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) rating tells healthcare systems that certain medical equipment or, in this case, medical apparel, meets its stringent performance standards. Faultless Healthcare Linen’s AAMI-rated level 2 Isolation Gown, available in one size fits most and oversized sizes, meets that standard and is part of the company’s full-service Isolation Gown Rental & Laundry Program.

Faultless’ medical isolation gowns offer staff protection from the transfer of microorganisms, bodily fluids and particulate matter with fabric that is lightweight and fluid-repellent, with a 99 percent polyester front panel, blue polyester knit cuffed sleeves, adjustable neck snaps, overlap back and color-matched back waist ties. Its AORN-compliant laundering has earned these critical certifications or accreditations:

Reusable Isolation Gowns Outperform Disposable in Protection, Durability, Environment and Comfort

Shortages in personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers and medical professionals brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic have required new strategies in the selection and management of PPE, which typically includes eye protection, face masks and shields, gloves, head and shoe coverings and isolation gowns. The so-called “surge capacity” status initiated at the onset of the pandemic continues to the present time. One finding that emerged amongst all the medical supply chain disruption in the last year is the efficacy of reusable medical isolation gowns.

Identified as the second-most-used piece of PPE1 following gloves, isolation gowns work to protect health care workers from potentially contaminated bodily fluids. Reusable, or washable, isolation gowns have measurable performance advantages over disposable gowns, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC)2. Faultless Healthcare Linen’s AAMI-rated level 2 isolation gown meets a higher standard as a solution for health systems looking to provide its staff with quality personal protective gowns.

The October 2020 study, “Disposable versus reusable medical gowns: A performance comparison,” measures how disposable and reusable medical isolation gowns performed across tests that included water resistance, hydrostatic pressure (pressure exerted by a fluid at rest due to the force of gravity) and durability assessments. The study’s water resistance chart3 shows the average impact penetration of disposable gowns and reusable gowns after 1, 25, 50 and 75 industrial launderings. In all tests, reusable gowns outperformed disposable gowns.

One of the points in the study’s findings spoke to the durability and economy of washable, reusable gowns:

“To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to assess the performance of reusable gowns over their wash life. These findings support the durability of reusable gowns, making them more economical than disposable gowns and providing greater protection for HCWs (healthcare workers). This is especially important in times of PPE shortages, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, for which the CDC recommended the use of cloth gowns.”4

An AAMI (Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation) rating tells healthcare systems that certain medical equipment or, in this case, medical apparel, meets its stringent performance standards. Faultless Healthcare Linen’s AAMI-rated level 2 Isolation Gown, available in one size fits most and oversized sizes, meets that standard and is part of the company’s full-service Isolation Gown Rental & Laundry Program.

Faultless’ medical isolation gowns offer staff protection from the transfer of microorganisms, bodily fluids and particulate matter with fabric that is lightweight and fluid-repellent, with a 99 percent polyester front panel, blue polyester knit cuffed sleeves, adjustable neck snaps, overlap back and color-matched back waist ties. Its AORN-compliant laundering has earned these critical certifications or accreditations:

Healthcare Linen Performance Standards: Hygienically Clean (HC) certification
Healthcare Linen Performance Standards: HLAC (Healthcare Laundry Accreditation Council) certification
Healthcare Linen Performance Standards: Infection Control University
Healthcare Linen Performance Standards: TRSA Clean Green certification

Medical linen is the most touched hospital supply item. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ensuring medical laundry is at least hygienically clean is crucial to minimizing the spread of pathogens. Faultless Healthcare Linen goes beyond hygienically clean in operating to these certifications or accreditations. In addition to an isolation gown program, Faultless has full-service scrub and lab coat offerings with those and all the personal protective apparel laundered to these standards in our healthcare linen-only facilities.

The AJIC-published study also speaks to the practical matter of comfort, relating that “thermal comfort is one of the top gown performance features that is likely to discourage healthcare worker compliance with wearing appropriate PPE.” It continued that while disposable gowns are anecdotally “known for” being comfortable, previous studies demonstrated that in shorter durations, “…reusable gowns are preferred for wearer comfort.”

Faultess Healthcare Linen has solutions.

Save costs, serve the environment and protect your healthcare workers and medical professionals with a full-service Isolation Gown Rental & Laundry Program from Faultless Healthcare Linen.

Call today at 800.676.2373 and let your Faultless Customer Advocate put together the right healthcare linen solution for you.

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