Reuse of disposable gowns for COVID-19 personal protective equipment purposes in times of scarcity: results of an experimental study with hydrogen peroxide vaporization

  • Roy J. Pelzer Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, and Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Elke JP Magdeleyns Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, and Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Paul HM Savelkoul Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, and Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Lieke B van Alphen van Alphen Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, and Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  • Wil C van der Zwet Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Center, and Care and Public Health Research Institute (CAPHRI), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands
Keywords: Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), disinfection, personal protective equipment, COVID-19

Abstract

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many health organizations faced shortages of personal protective equipment for their personnel. In case of extreme urgency, re-using disposable materials might offer a temporary solution. Hydrogen peroxide vaporization (HPV) has been used for disinfection of patient rooms for more than a decade. We investigated HPV as a method for disinfecting disposable gowns. After HPV, gowns proved to be free of bacteria and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA while their functionality and water-repellency remained intact. We conclude that, in case of emergency and lack of available alternatives, HPV is a suitable and relatively inexpensive method for one-time reuse of disposable gowns.

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Published
2021-03-12
How to Cite
Pelzer, R., Magdeleyns, E., Savelkoul, P., van Alphen, L., & van der Zwet, W. (2021). Reuse of disposable gowns for COVID-19 personal protective equipment purposes in times of scarcity: results of an experimental study with hydrogen peroxide vaporization. International Journal of Infection Control, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.3396/ijic.v17.21090
Section
Practice Forum