Kimberly-Clark Health Care launched its new isolation gown portfolio at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control (APIC) Annual Conference held June 15-19 in Denver, CO.
The company said the new gowns provides barrier protection based on the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) guidelines, a widely accepted system of liquid barrier performance classification for protective apparel. The isolation gowns meet AAMI Levels 1, 2 and 3 and will provide medical professionals the flexibility to choose the most appropriate barrier to help protect against cross-contamination and the transmission of infectious organisms, which can lead to health-care-associated infections (HAIs).
A recent survey by Kimberly-Clark Health Care of 300 purchasing managers, infection control professionals and registered nurses from facilities across the country showed that only 38 percent of respondents were aware of AAMI guidelines; however, those who were aware factored the guidelines into purchasing criteria for isolation gowns 73 percent of the time.
AAMI minimum performance levels range from Level 1 (least protective) to Level 4 (most protective) for gowns, drapes and other protective apparel. Most nonsurgical protective apparel is classified as Levels 1 to 3 due to the amount of fluid exposure that is typically seen outside of an operating room setting.
In tests comparing Kimberly-Clark isolation gowns with other isolation gowns, Kimberly-Clark claims it is the only one that has gowns meeting all requirements in each of AAMI Levels 1, 2 and 3.
Each AAMI level applies to a gown’s critical zone, which includes the entire gown plus seams, but excludes the cuffs, hems and bindings. Kimberly-Clark Health Care has organized its isolation gown portfolio into three specific categories to aid in product selection.
The new KC100 Isolation Gowns are designed to meet AAMI Level 1 and provide protection for uses when expected risk of exposure to fluid is low. KC100 Isolation Gowns feature SMS fabric for barrier protection, come in different sizes and are recommended for basic patient care, transporting patients, laundry and housekeeping duties.
The new KC200 Isolation Gowns are designed to meet AAMI Level 2 and provide protection for uses when expected risk of exposure to fluid is low to moderate such as suturing, blood draw, inserting IVs and specimen handling. They feature medium-weight SMS fabric for barrier protection and are recommended for use in ICUs, hyperbaric and dialysis units, nurseries and labs.
The KC300 Isolation Gowns meet AAMI Level 3, offering maximum protection for uses where moderate exposure to fluids is expected such as in trauma units, emergency rooms, burn units, critical care units and contact isolation areas. KC300 Isolation Gowns feature heavy-weight SMS fabric for maximum barrier protection. In March, Kimberly-Clark Health Care announced a similar tiered system for its surgical gowns and drapes.
Full bundle approach to personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical in preventing cross-contamination, because organisms such as MRSA can survive as long as several months on virtually any surface with patient or healthcare worker contact, Proper use of PPE is critical in breaking the chain of transmission to patients, visitors and fellow health care workers. Kimberly-Clark Health Care’s protective apparel bundle offers a range of PPE, including the purple nitrile and sterling nitrile exam gloves; facial protection and eyewear; and the unique PPE Dispensing System that helps prevent contamination during product selection and the donning and doffing process.