Half of isolation gowns from global suppliers don't meet US standards, report finds

More than half of disposable isolation gowns tested by the ECRI Institute failed to meet standard protection levels, the patient safety organization said Nov. 10.

ECRI researchers evaluated 34 disposable gowns from international or nontraditional suppliers. They found 52 percent of them failed to meet the lowest protection standards of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation. 

The patient safety organization warned against using isolation gowns from international suppliers, as they may put employees at risk of exposure to various pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2. 

If healthcare organizations have no other option, the gowns should only be worn in "extremely low-risk circumstances," ECRI said.

"Hospitals have been ramping up their procurement of isolation gowns to protect workers from the novel coronavirus, and we're finding that many of the products they are buying simply do not meet basic protection standards," Marcus Schabacker, MD, PhD, president and CEO of ECRI, said in a news release. "Our research shows that you can't judge the authenticity of the product based on its appearance, labeling or packaging, without product-testing."

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