Personal protective equipment (PPE) is an essential part of the healthcare industry, especially during emergencies like pandemics. To prevent contamination and the spread of infections, medical practitioners use PPE gowns. These gowns come in different levels, each offering a specific level of protection. In this article, we will discuss the different levels of PPE gowns and their usage.
Level 1 PPE gowns
Level 1 PPE gowns are made of a lightweight material and offer minimal protection. These gowns are ideal for use during routine exams, basic care, and standard isolation. They are suitable for activities like patient temperature checks and drawing blood. The primary purpose of these gowns is to protect the patient from germs and contaminants that might be present on the clothing of the healthcare professionals.
Level 2 PPE gowns
Level 2 PPE gowns provide a higher level of protection compared to level 1 gowns. They are made from a medium weight material and are suitable for activities that have a low to moderate risk of exposure to infectious pathogens. These gowns are ideal for use during procedures that involve minimal blood and bodily fluid splatter. Medical practitioners tend to prefer level 2 PPE gowns for their comfort and ease of use.
Level 3 PPE gowns
Level 3 PPE gowns provide a high level of protection and are made from heavyweight materials. They are ideal for use during procedures that pose a moderate to high risk of fluid and blood splatter. These gowns provide protection not only to the healthcare professionals but also to patients and visitors. Level 3 PPE gowns are ideal for surgeries and other procedures that involve significant bodily fluid exposure.
Level 4 PPE gowns
Level 4 PPE gowns offer the highest level of protection and are made from the heaviest materials. These gowns are ideal for use during procedures that pose the highest risk of exposure to fluid and blood splatter. Level 4 PPE gowns are recommended for surgeries that involve a high risk of infections like HIV, Hepatitis B, and C. They are also suitable for use during procedures involving highly infectious pathogens like Ebola and SARS.
Choosing the right levels of PPE gowns for the task
Although medical practitioners understand the different levels of PPE gowns, they tend to consider the task at hand before choosing the right gown. The type of PPE gown used depends on the nature of the task, the risks involved, and the level of protection needed.
For example, procedures like inserting a PICC line may not require a high-level PPE gown, but when a patient has active tuberculosis, a healthcare professional will have to use a level 3 PPE gown. The key to choosing the right PPE gown is to understand the risks involved and the level of protection needed.
PPE gowns are essential pieces of medical equipment that protect healthcare professionals, patients, and visitors from infections. There are four different levels of PPE gowns, each offering a specific level of protection. Choosing the right PPE gown depends on the nature of the task, the risks involved, and the level of protection needed. Healthcare professionals should assess the risks involved and choose the correct PPE gown for the task to prevent the spread of infectious pathogens.