Does the Use of Personal Protection Equipment for the Medical Staff Working with Patients with Coronavirus Disease 2019 Need to be Revised?

Document Type : Short Communication


1 Neonatal Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad,

2 Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Imam Reza Hospital, Neonatal Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Neonatal Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Student Research Committee, Faculty of pharmacy, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Background: Personal protective equipment (PPE) is one of the protective equipment that health workers can use to protect themselves against coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19); however, it is accompanied by some problems for medical staff. Since severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is not transmitted through healthy skin, the hypothesis was examined as to whether the cotton gown could be used instead of PPE.
Methods: The medical staff of the Neonatal Care Unit took care of 51 patients with 1180 shifts. During the first and a half months, the medical personnel used a special PPE package for providing care of  patients, which included an air-impermeable plastic gown with a head-to-toe cover, an N95 mask, gloves, and a face shield. However, from the beginning of the epidemic, doctors used cotton surgical gowns instead of the ones in the package. Following that, the nursing team gradually replaced the air-impermeable plastic gowns with cotton surgical gowns, and finally, all the staff used the cotton gowns. 
Results: After three months, all medical staff was evaluated for clinical signs of COVID-19, such as fever, cough, nausea, and headache. During these three months, no symptoms or absence due to illness were observed in the staff. It should be mentioned that the antibody titer was not evaluated at the end of the study.
Conclusion: A retrospective review of the staff showed that the cotton surgical gown protected the staff against COVID-19. Accordingly, the cotton surgical gown can be used in medical centers to replace PPE sets containing an air-impermeable plastic gown with a head-to-toe cover. The result of this study can improve some of the problems of the medical staff.


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