331. Seamless Suits: Reducing Personnel Contamination through Improved Personal Protective Equipment Design
Session: Poster Abstract Session: HAI: Occupational Health
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Room: Poster Hall

Background: Healthcare personnel frequently contaminate themselves during removal of personal protective equipment. Contamination of the hands and wrists is particularly common both when skin at the wrist is exposed and with incorrect technique during glove removal.  We hypothesized that gowns and gloves designed to provide continuous coverage of the wrist and hand may reduce contamination during PPE removal. 

Methods: A prototype seamless gown and glove was designed to provide continuous coverage of the wrist and hand and requires simultaneous removal of gloves with the gown. Untrained healthcare personnel were randomized to perform simulations using either standard or seamless PPE. 10 log plaque forming units (PFUs) of bacteriophage MS2 and 0.5 ml of fluorescent lotion was applied to gloved hands. After removal of PPE, hands and forearms were sampled for the presence of bacteriophage MS2 by culture and fluorescent lotion by black light.  

Results: Contamination of skin with bacteriophage and fluorescent lotion was significantly lower with use of seamless PPE versus standard PPE (Figure 1). Mean PFUs was significantly lower in seamless PPE compared to standard PPE (2.4 logs vs 4.3 logs, P=0.0002).  

Conclusion: A novel PPE design that provides seamless coverage of the wrist and hands can reduce personnel contamination during gown and glove removal.   

Figure 1. Skin Contamination during Removal of Bacteriophage and Fluorescent Lotion-Contaminated Gloves


Myreen Tomas, MD1, Jennifer Cadnum, B.S.2,3, Thriveen S.C. Mana, MS3, Annette Jencson, BS, MT, CIC2 and Curtis J. Donskey, MD1,3, (1)Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Centers, Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, (2)Research Service, Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, (3)Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH


M. Tomas, None

J. Cadnum, None

T. S. C. Mana, None

A. Jencson, None

C. J. Donskey, None

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