Significance and Use
4.1 This specification provides minimum requirements for surgical gowns used for protection of healthcare workers where the potential for exposure to blood, body fluids, and other potentially infectious materials exists. The specification requires barrier testing based on the system of classifying gowns established in ANSI/AAMI PB70 and sets general safety requirements for surgical gowns based on biocompatibility, sterility assurance, and flame spread. Performance requirements are established for important physical properties, including tensile strength, tear resistance, and seam strength. Methods to be used for optional reporting of performance of linting resistance, evaporative resistance, water vapor transmission rate, and abrasion resistance are provided.
4.2 This specification does not address protective clothing used for nonsurgical applications, such as isolation gowns or decontamination gowns; protective clothing for the hands, such as surgical gloves, patient examination gloves, or other medical gloves; protective clothing for the head, such as goggles or face shields, surgical caps or hoods, surgical masks, or respirators; protective clothing for the feet, such as operating room shoes, shoe covers, or surgical boots; or other types of protective clothing and equipment worn by healthcare providers.
4.3 Surgical gowns are either multiple-use or single-use products as designated by the manufacturer. This specification is intended to provide the basis for manufacturer claims for surgical gown performance and efficacy. For multiple-use gowns, this specification takes into account the anticipated care and maintenance of these products by examining test requirements for surgical gown materials both before and after the maximum expected number of cycles for laundering and sterilization.
4.4 Additional information on the processing of multiple-use surgical gowns is provided in ANSI/AAMI ST65.
4.5 While surgical gowns are classified for barrier performance as specified in ANSI/AAMI PB70, this specification establishes other design criteria, minimum physical performance criteria, labeling, and documentation requirements for surgical gowns and their materials.
4.5.1 In addition to the barrier performance of the surgical gown material and seams, surgical gown material and seams are also required to meet minimum requirements for tensile strength, tear strength, and seam strength that have been established on the basis of an analysis of workplace requirements. Surgical gowns with different barrier level claims shall meet the same minimum strength requirements regardless of their barrier level.
4.5.2 Additional properties for surgical gown material such as lint generation, evaporative resistance or water vapor transmission rate, and durability are optional for testing for the purpose of documenting performance. No minimum criteria are established for these properties, but purchasers may use this information to compare products.
4.5.3 Surgical gowns differ from isolation gowns based on their intended use and anticipated location of liquid contact. Specific requirements for isolation gowns beyond the barrier performance of isolation gown materials and seams are provided in Specification .
4.6 Additional information for the testing, selection, and use of surgical gowns is provided in AAMI TIR11.
This specification establishes the requirements for the performance, documentation, and labeling of surgical gowns used in the healthcare facilities. It does not however cover all the requirements that a healthcare facility deems necessary to select a product, nor does it address criteria for evaluating experimental products. Barrier testing shall be conducted to determine the impact penetration, hydrostatic resistance, and viral penetration resistance performance of the critical zone(s) of the surgical gown. The physical properties of the critical zone(s) of the surgical gown shall also be tested and shall conform to the following requirements: tensile strength, tear resistance, seam strength, lint generation, evaporative resistance, and water vapor transmission rate. General safety requirements shall be set based on biocompatibility, sterility assurance, flame spread, and natural rubber latex specifications.
1.1 This specification establishes requirements for the performance, documentation, and labeling of surgical gowns used in the healthcare facilities. Four levels of barrier properties for surgical gowns are specified in ANSI/AAMI PB70 and are included in this specification for reference purposes.
Note 1: Some properties require minimum performance and others are for documentation only.
Note 2: ANSI/AAMI PB70 evaluates the barrier properties of surgical gown fabrics using water only in Levels 1, 2, and 3. Since surgical gowns are exposed to blood and other fluids with different surface tensions, the performance of additional testing to identify the barrier levels to simulated biological fluids is required for a Level 4 gown.
1.2 This specification does not cover all the requirements that a healthcare facility deems necessary to select a product, nor does it address criteria for evaluating experimental products.
1.3 This specification is not intended to serve as a detailed manufacturing or purchase specification, but can be referenced in purchase specifications as the basis for selecting test requirements.
1.4 The values stated in SI units or in other units shall be regarded separately as standard. The values stated in each system must be used independently of the other, without combining values in any way.
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.