Less than 1 in 6 healthcare workers not removing protective gear correctly

healthcare-protective-gearAccording to the University of Wisconsin, less than one in six health care workers remove their protective garments correctly. The CDC has set recommendations which health care workers should comply with after visiting infected patients; this includes how to properly remove garments to not spread illness.

A trained observer watched health care personnel enter and leave rooms with patients. These were isolation rooms as to not spread germs. The observations took place in October 2014.


According to the CDC, workers are meant to first take off gloves and then gently remove their gown from the back, all while in the isolation room.

About 30 health care workers were observed and the results revealed 17 removed the gown out of order, 16 wore the protective garment into the hallway and 15 did not remove their garments gently, which could increase the risk of spreading germs.

“As a result of the current Ebola outbreak, the critical issue of proper [protective garment] removal has come front and center,” said the study authors.

“Healthcare facilities should use this opportunity of heightened interest to undertake practice improvement focused on [protective garments] removal protocol, including technique, for all healthcare-associated conditions that require the donning and doffing of [protective garments].”

The findings were published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Author Bio

Emily Lunardo studied medical sociology at York University with a strong focus on the social determinants of health and mental illness. She is a registered Zumba instructor, as well as a Canfit Pro trainer, who teaches fitness classes on a weekly basis. Emily practices healthy habits in her own life as well as helps others with their own personal health goals. Emily joined Bel Marra Health as a health writer in 2013.