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.
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