Level 1 and Level 2 Isolation Gowns - Important Differences

What are Isolation Gowns?

Isolation gowns are an example of PPE which is used in healthcare sector. They are used to protect the wearer from spreading the infection or any kind of virus or bacteria if someone comes in contact with any sort of infectious material. They are also used to prevent a person from transferring any microorganisms that could harm vulnerable people, such as those with weak immune system. 

What is Level 1 Isolation Gown?

Level 1 of the isolation gown has the lowest level of protection and is considered for minimal risk. Level 1 isolation gown is designed for basic care, for example: in care homes, in hospices, and low-risk places. It is also the level of gowns given to visitors, for example, after someone has given birth to a child.

What’s a Level 2 Isolation Gown?

Level 2 of isolation gowns are a step up than Level 1 and are considered low risk. This is the type of gown that should be used in ICU’s and other intensive care places out of the hospital. It’s also necessary when dealing with blood, doing stitches or working in any kind of lab settings. Level 2 provides a barrier for large amount of liquids and even some soaking.

What’s the Difference Between the Two Isolation Gowns?

There is a significant difference amongst two types of isolation gowns in terms of the protection they offer and where they can be more suitably used. Level 1 of isolation gowns is suitable for any low-risk or routine care situation where it’s unlikely that there will be blood or any other bodily fluids. Yet it is necessary to take precautions to protect the wearer and anyone near them from the spread of any kind of bacteria or infections.

Level 2 of isolation gowns is necessary when there is a high likelihood that the wearer might come into contact with blood, body fluids or any type of infectious microorganisms, such as when drawing blood, working in an ICU space, or a pathology lab. Level 2 offers remarkably more protection than Level 1.

Level 1

Gowns that offer level 1 protection, provide a basic level of protection and tend to be used in general hospital circumstances or when medical and healthcare workers are offering just basic care and don’t require sterile gowns. These gowns provide a slight barrier against fluids, but aren’t suitable for blood draws, ICUs, pathology labs.

Level 2

Level 2 of isolation gowns are ultimate for low risk circumstances like blood transfusion from veins or for working in pathology labs and ICU’s and don’t require the sterile gowns. Level 2 gowns are thoroughly tested by pressurizing the material used for making the gowns and by impacting the gowns with water. These gowns can block more amount of fluid than level 1 type of gowns and are effective against fluid discernment that might occur through splash, scatter or soaking of fluids.

How to Choose Right Type of Isolation Gown

According to the healthcare guidelines, it is very essential to select the right level of isolation gown depending on the protection needed under any circumstances. Patients infected or with suspected cases of corona virus need non-sterile, disposable isolation gowns, which are mostly used for daily patient care in medical settings. For medical professionals who engage in activities where the risk of body fluid exposure is low or the minimal. In situations where there is a high risk of contamination and huge critical zone is needed, isolation gowns which claim from moderate to high barrier protection can be used.

It is important to have a successful PPE strategy especially during these testing times of a global pandemic like COVID-19. Isolation gowns play a vital role in keeping the employees, healthcare workers, patients and all the community members safe, especially from various infectious liquids. While isolation gowns offer an essential protection, it can be difficult to know which level of protection you might need from a gown. Match the ANSI/AAMI level most importantly to the conditions/circumstances while sourcing isolation gowns.

Level 1 or Level 2 of isolation gowns are generally non-sterile and can be used for patients infected with corona virus or when the risk of body fluid is less.