Reducing Wound Infections: Gown and Drape Barriers

Arch Surg. 1988;123(1):123. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400250132030.
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To the Editor.—Just as Moylan and associates1-3 in the past have rather loosely used the words cotton, muslin, and reusables interchangeably, their continued reference to woven reusable fabrics in this manner remains unchanged. Although they now acknowledge that reusables with water-repellent agents are available and that "these agents are removed by as few as 50 washings," the authors at no time address the condition or age of the reusable material used in their most recent study.1 In addition, they do not take into account either the configuration of the gowns and drapes themselves or the technique used in their application. Moylan and colleagues have dulled the clarity of their findings while giving the uninformed, uncritical reader the impression that the "commonly used disposable gown and drape material" is superior to all other types, be they disposable or reusable. And under the circumstances, this is simply not true.


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