Environment and body contamination: a comparison of two different removal methods in three types of personal protective clothing

Am J Infect Control. 2014 Apr;42(4):e39-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2013.12.021.


Background: This study aimed to examine the body contamination rates and environmental contamination levels during the removal of 3 types of personal protective clothing (PPC) by the individual accustomed removal method (IARM) and gown removal methods recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Methods: Fifty participants performed IARM and CDC-recommended gown removal methods to remove 3 types of PPC (ie, cotton gown, water resistant gown, and plastic apron) in random order at 2 separate sessions after applying Glo Germ simulated germ lotion on the gown's surface. A video demonstrating the CDC-recommended gown removal method was shown between the 2 sessions. After PPC removal, fluorescent stains were counted by an ultraviolet scan under dim light.

Results: Following IARM, contaminants were splashed in the surroundings, particularly on the front part of the subject. The plastic apron and cotton gown obtained the highest and lowest contaminative hazards, respectively, to the hands, shoes, and environment. Females, nurses, and senior staff had serious hand or shoe contamination. The CDC removal method more significantly reduced body and environmental contamination of small fluorescent stains (<1 cm(2)), but not of large patches (>1 cm(2)), than IARM.

Conclusion: The effect of gown removal, PPC type, discarding PPC location, training of infection control measures, hand hygiene, and special work shoes should be considered daily.

Keywords: CDC protocol; Cross infection; Fluorescent stain; Isolation gown/apron; Training.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Environmental Microbiology*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Protective Clothing / microbiology*
  • Young Adult