International Science Index


Investigating the Impact of the Laundry and Sterilization Process on the Performance of Reusable Surgical Gowns


Recently, the utilization of reusable surgical gowns in order to decrease costs, environmental protection and enhance surgeon’s comfort is considered. One of the concerns in applying this kind of medical protective clothing is reduction of their resistance to bacterial penetration especially in wet state, after repeated laundering and sterilizing process. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of the laundering and sterilizing process on the reusable surgical gown’s resistance against bacterial wet penetration. To this end, penetration of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria in wet state after 70 washing and sterilizing cycles was evaluated on the two single-layer and three-layer reusable gowns. The outcomes reveal that up to 20 laundering and sterilizing cycles, protective property of samples improves due to fabric shrinkage, after that because of the fabric’s construction opening, the bacterial penetration increase. However, the three-layer gown presents higher protective performance comparing to the single-layer one.

[1] D.M, E., Antibacterial and Laundering Properties of AMS and PHMB as Finishing Agents for Healthcare Workers Uniforms. 2004.
[2] 7730, I., Ergonomics of the thermal environment – Analytical determination and interpretation of thermal comfort using calculation of the PMV and PPD indices and local thermal comfort criteria. 2006.
[3] Abreu, I., Ribeiro, P. and Abreu MJ, The issue of thermal comfort of medical clothing in the operating room. DYNA 2017. 84(200): p. 234_239.
[4] ARORA, B.K.B.a.H., Surgical Gown: A Critical Review. Journal Of Industrial Textile, January 2009. 38(3).
[5] Institute, H., Disposable or reusable clothing in the operating theatre?-The brain prefers reusable, in Operating Theatre Journal. September 2011. p. 252_255.
[6] Blom AW, G.C., Heal J, Bowker K, Estela CM, Bacterial strike-through of reusable surgical drapes: the effect of different wetting agents. Journal of Hospital Infection, 2002. 52(52_55).
[7] Flaherty AL, W.T., Prolonged contact with blood alters surgical gown permeability. American Journal of Infection Control, Oct .1993. 21(5): p. 249_256.
[8] Leonas KK, J.R., The relationship of selected fabric characteristics and the barrier effectiveness of surgical gown fabrics. American Journal of Infection Control, 1997. 25: p. 16_23.
[9] Rutala WA, W.D., A review of single-use and resuable gowns and drapes in healthcare. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, 2001. 22(4): p. 248_257.
[10] Kishwar F, A.F., Surgical gown fabric; Determination of resistance to surface wetting of existing surgical gown fabric. Professional Med J, 2017. 24(7): p. 966_971.
[11] N. Gokarneshan, Emerging Research Trends in Medical Textiles. Textile Science and Clothing Technology, 2015.