Washington D.C.-based Inova Health System has designed reusable isolation gowns for the Virginia hospital system to ease personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chain shortages and reduce the environmental impact of single-use gowns.

Among some of the most commonly used types of PPE, isolation gowns have largely been disposable with an estimated 3.1 million single-use gowns used each year before 2020 by the Virginia health system. This, according to the researchers, resulted in a corresponding 213 tons of waste per year.

As such, Inova Health System teamed with a sports apparel manufacturer to design and produce new isolation gowns that reportedly fit better, are cooler and easier to wear, and are reusable up to 100 times.

Further, the gowns are expected to ease the type of supply chain issues the healthcare industry has encountered since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic where PPE such as gloves, masks, gowns and other protective gear were in short supply due to broken links in the global supply chain.

Additionally, the reusable gowns are expected to significantly reduce the amount of PPE waste that accumulates each year from the healthcare industry from single-use PPE.

Details about the isolation gown were presented at the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology’s (APIC) 49th Annual Conference, held June 13-15 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com