As medical professionals continue to deal with the effects of COVID-19, personal protective equipment (PPE) has come into greater focus. Whether it’s being used for COVID-19 or other settings, choosing the right isolation gowns is crucial. Isolation gowns must be made with the right materials and chosen according to risk levels to ensure protection and keep medical professionals safe against fluids, bacteria, viruses, and more.
Using high-quality PPE is absolutely essential to protect yourself and others, especially during peak admissions time. Unfortunately, finding the right PPE, such as isolation gowns, is often challenging, but we’re here to help make the process easier.
Finding the suitable isolation gown for your needs
There are a few different components that make isolation gowns protective. Understanding these various elements can help you evaluate options to choose the correct one for your medical team.
Consider what the purpose of the gown is and what settings it will be used from. The material used for the gowns must be fluid-resistant if needed and provide full coverage. The level of risk is also an essential factor. Some settings may have a low to moderate level of risk, whereas others may be higher-risk. The level of risk will affect what kind of gown is used.
For example, an Isolation Gown Disposable is durable and tear-resistant to provide maximum protection. It’s used mainly in low to moderate risk scenarios and is easy to keep secure while wearing. You can also choose gown options for sterile or non-sterile settings. Additionally, according to The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation® (AAMI), the gowns are available in different levels, such as Level 1, 2, and 3.
AAMI Levels: What are they?
The FDA recognizes the AAMI Levels for medical equipment such as isolation gowns. Here’s a quick summary of what you need to know when evaluating equipment against the levels. You can find a full breakdown of the levels available on the FDA website here.
- Level 1 is used for minimal risks, such as basic care and standard isolation in medical units.
- Level 2 is for low-risk settings such as intensive care units and pathology labs for blood draws and suturing.
Note: Level 1 and 2 can also be used in other settings such as food and beauty if needed.
- Level 3 is moderate risk and used in emergency rooms and trauma to perform actions such as arterial blood draw and inserting an IV.
- Level 4 is high-risk and used during long procedures with fluids when pathogen-resistant is needed and/or non-airborne infectious diseases are suspected.
For example, the Disposable Gown with Thumb Loop is suitable for low to moderate risk scenarios as it is designated for AAMI Levels 2 and 3. It protects staff in these scenarios and is designed for immediate disposal after use. The gown has additional features such as a thumb loop to keep the gown wrists in place and fluid-resistant. Because it is one-size-fits-all, it’s suitable for storage and used in low to moderate risk facilities without needing to worry about getting multiple sizes for the gowns.
However, there may be scenarios where there are high levels of risk. In that case, different kinds of isolation gowns are needed to provide complete protection in these cases. Products such as the Sterile Surgical Gown Level 4 SMS are created for this purpose and are for sterile use. The gowns are made from a breathable fabric that provides a viral barrier, with an adjustable hook and loop neckline closure for ease of use.
Other Level 4 options for isolation gowns include something like a Medical Protective Clothing with Hood for AAMI Level 4 protection. It’s suitable for general isolation in settings such as clinics, wards, laboratories, and hospitals. The material is waterproof, dust-proof, anti-virus, and anti-bacteria to provide full coverage and protection while still staying breathable and comfortable.
How to deal with isolation gown shortages
PPE shortages are an increasingly common occurrence during the pandemic, and it’s crucial to be prepared. One way to handle shortages is to order less frequently but in larger quantities so that you have a good inventory of equipment.
There are many suitable isolation gown and disposable gown options available at the moment, and having a variety ensures that you know which brands to trust and order again.
For example, the Isolation Gown Disposable AAMI Level 1/2/3 SMS is both durable and breathable while being fluid-resistant. It’s perfect for settings with low and moderate risk levels, making it an excellent option to have on hand.
However, depending on the phase of the pandemic, it can be challenging to monitor and manage PPE levels adequately. That’s why it’s crucial to have a proactive strategy in place to monitor and procure equipment and identify suppliers that can provide FDA-approved and safe option PPE options for your needs. If you are unsure how to manage PPE levels for isolation gowns, CDC resources for PPE strategy are available here.
Romi Medical is a woman-owned business that provides the best face mask options and protective equipment for your needs. If you want to learn more about our options and pricing, you can request a custom quote for isolation gowns.
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