SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1996

A Novel Method for Quantification of Surgical Gown Permeability


Transmission of blood-borne pathogens between patients and health care professionals, including the AIDS virus and hepatitis B, is a significant concern of the medical community. Surgical gowns and drapes represent a major barrier for protection against possible transmission of blood and blood-borne pathogens. In order to predict the effectiveness of gown fabrics as transport barriers, we developed a laboratory apparatus to quantify the liquid permeability of five commercially available surgical gown fabrics challenged with blood under conditions mimicking those measured during pressing and leaning motions. This Pressing/Leaning Simulator represents a simple, inexpensive, and reproducible test to quantify the amount of blood transport across a fabric during surgery or other medical procedure. These data will assist gown users in selecting the appropriate gown and gown manufacturers in developing gowns that present an adequate moist transfer barrier for the duration of a gowns intended use.

Author Information

Wick, TM
School of Chemical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
Flaherty, AF
School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
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Developed by Committee: F23
Pages: 123–130
DOI: 10.1520/STP14062S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5317-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-1987-1