in: Healthcare Access, Prof. Amit Agrawal, Editor, IntechOpen, Zagreb, pp.1-17, 2021
Emerging diseases such as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, SARS, and most recently the Covid 19 epidemic have increased the importance of hygiene in the world, bringing the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) to the forefront. An important part of PPE in healthcare is surgical gowns, which are worn by doctors and nurses in the operating room to serve a dual function of preventing the transmission of microorganisms and body fluids from surgical staff to patients and from patients to staff. This chapter presents the history and importance of surgical gowns. The factors to be considered in the selection of surgical gowns are discussed. The model characteristics and fabric properties of surgical gowns currently on the market and the environmental impact of reusable and disposable gowns are outlined. Finally, shortcomings in available gowns are discussed, a new knitted surgical gown design is introduced, and recommendations are given in the final section. The chapter provides broad coverage of surgical gowns for both experienced readers and those new to the field.