Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Steven Guffey

Committee Co-Chair

Xinjian He

Committee Member

Selcen Kilinc-Balci


ANSI/AAMI PB70 "Liquid barrier performance and classification of protective apparel and drapes intended for use in healthcare facilities" sets barrier performance requirements for the classification of isolation gowns. Manufacturers voluntarily follow these requirements for gowns used in minimal and low risk situations but end users must decide which gown is most suitable for the required task. ANSI/AAMI PB70 classifies isolation gowns based on the level of barrier protection the gowns are expected to provide and recommends several tests to help manufacturers assign the levels to the gowns (1-4). Published literature has identified performance concerns of isolation gowns, but there are no studies that examine the barrier qualities of isolation gown cuffs. Therefore, it is the purpose of this study to examine isolation gown cuffs' resistance to water based on ANSI/AAMI PB70:2012 criteria using modified versions of a water impact penetration test and a hydrostatic pressure water resistance test. The investigator took samples from 6 models of gowns, three models within the Level 1 designation and three models from Level 2. Half of each sample group was washed and dried for one laundering cycle and the other half for the maximum recommended laundering cycles, prior to testing.;Water impact penetration testing was performed using a plastic funnel fixed 0.6m above a clipboard at a 45-degree angle from the parallel to the floor. Specimen were clamped over-top a piece of blotter paper onto the clip board. Distilled water was poured into the funnel and allowed to spray on the specimen. The investigator weighed blotter paper before and after testing and the change in weight (g) was reported. The hydrostatic pressure test was performed by securely clamping the cuff between two rings directly touching the surface of a reservoir of water. Water pressure in the reservoir was set to increase under the specimen at 60mbar/min until water penetrated the fabric in 3 unique locations. The pressure of the third water droplet penetration (mbar) was reported.;As expected, gown cuffs washed once allowed less water penetration than gown cuffs washed multiple times (p<0.0001). Level 1 gown cuffs allowed more water penetration than Level 2 gown cuffs for the water impact penetration test (p < 0.001). There was no difference between barrier performance of Level 1 and Level 2 cuffs in the hydrostatic pressure test (p>0.05). According to ANSI/AAMI PB70, Level 1 gowns (body fabric only, not cuffs) must pass the water impact penetration test with a change in blotter paper no more than 4.5g. Only 20.8% of the cuffs from gowns given the Level 1 classification by manufacturers met this requirement. ANSI/AAMI PB70 specifies that Level 2 gown fabric could have a change in blotter paper weight of no more than 1g. Only 44.8% of cuffs belonging to gowns claimed to be Level 2 by manufacturers met this requirement. None of the cuffs from Level 2 gowns met the ANSI/AAMI PB70 performance criteria for the hydrostatic pressure test for the gown fabric material.;Isolation gown cuffs are the only part of isolation gowns not considered as a critical zone for exposure by ANSI/AAMI. However, studies have shown that even with proper donning and doffing, gown cuffs do become contaminated which puts the user at risk for contact with infected blood and bodily fluids. Manufacturers can use this information to improve on gown design which will help to prevent future skin exposures to infectious diseases in health care workers.