An Evaluation of the Barrier and Durability Performance of Reusable Level 2 Isolation Gowns Over Their Promoted Service Life

Elizabeth Easter, Susan Dabbain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic negatively impacted the health and safety of healthcare workers as the supply of personal protective equipment was severely limited at the pandemic’s beginning. Some healthcare facilities took the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations to shift from disposable personal protective equipment to reusable, as an option for extending the life of their personal protective equipment during the pandemic. This research investigated Level 2 isolation gowns to determine whether they met or exceeded the protection specifications of ANSI/AAMI PB70:2012 and the American Society for Testing and Materials: ASTM F3352-19 Standard Specification for Isolation Gowns Intended for Use in Healthcare Facilities. The overall findings show that commercially available reusable gowns initially met the ANSI/AAMI PB70:2012 and ASTM F3352 standards. Out of the six sample groups, gowns in one group failed the ANSI/AAMI PB70:2012 specifications before the end of their intended lifecycle. All gowns met the specifications for durability in ASTM F3352-19, but further research showed tear strength after laundering weakened substantially. The current standard for Level 2 isolation gowns is protecting the lives of healthcare workers. However, the specifications could be improved by ANSI/AAMI by evaluating the performance after laundering instead of as new. Durability specifications would be improved by increasing the requirements for reusable gowns.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58-70
Number of pages13
JournalAATCC Journal of Research
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2023.

Keywords

  • Durability
  • Isolation Gown
  • Performance
  • Protection
  • Standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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