Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Annual Conference

Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology Annual Conference

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He L. Capitalizing on a global personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage to design a more functional and sustainable isolation gown. Presented at: APIC 2022; June 13-15, 2022. Indianapolis.

Disclosures: He and Peninger report no relevant financial disclosures.
June 18, 2022
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Reusable isolation gowns could be answer to PPE shortages

Source:

He L. Capitalizing on a global personal protective equipment (PPE) shortage to design a more functional and sustainable isolation gown. Presented at: APIC 2022; June 13-15, 2022. Indianapolis.

Disclosures: He and Peninger report no relevant financial disclosures.
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Researchers developed custom, reusable isolation gowns they said could help ensure that gowns are available during shortages like what occurred during the COVID-19 pandemic and help reduce waste.

They described the gown at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology conference.

DoctorAndNurse_GOWNS_Adobe
Reusable gowns could help ensure the availability of personal protective equipment and cut down on hospital waste. Source: Adobe Stock.

According to a press release, the five-hospital Inova Health System based in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., used 3.1 million single-use, disposable gowns each year before the COVID-19 pandemic, amounting to about 213 tons of waste. Once the pandemic hit, these items were in short supply.

“During the pandemic when supplies were scarce, we used any gowns that we were able to procure that met infection prevention standards, regardless of the brand,” Michelle Peninger, BSMT, CIC, assistant vice president of infection prevention at Inova, said in the press release. “Our infection prevention team realized we had an opportunity to create a better gown that would protect our frontline workers and reduce waste.”

According to the study, the researchers tried several varieties of disposable and reusable gowns, and gathered “a substantial amount” of feedback from users, infection prevention specialists and members of the supply chain, which helped them resolve problems in protection, comfort, fit, and ease of donning and doffing. They worked with a sports apparel manufacturer to produce the gowns, which can be laundered up to 100 times.

The gowns, which can be safely laundered according to health care standards and reused, are currently in use at two of the hospitals in the system and have garnered “overwhelmingly positive feedback” from wearers, according to the researchers.

“The innovative thinking of our team resulted in the development of a great product, and our team members are very happy with the new gowns,” Lucy He, MLS(ASCP), CIC, director of infection prevention and control at Inova, said in the release. “We look forward to introducing them into all Inova hospitals.”

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