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July 1986

Overgown Use for Infection Control in Nurseries and Neonatal Intensive Care Units

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia Medical Center, Charlottesville.

Am J Dis Child. 1986;140(7):680-683. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1986.02140210078030

• We surveyed 1824 physicians to determine (1) current newborn nursery (NBN) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) gowning procedures and (2) the gowning preferences of NBN and NICU physicians. A total of 712 questionnaires (39.0%) were returned from 453 hospitals. Of the 712 questionnaire respondents, 251 (35.3%) thought that gowns should be worn at all times. However, 319 (72.8%) of the 438 NBNs and 317 (71.6%) of the 443 NICUs surveyed continue to require gowns at all times. The difference between gown preference and practice was statistically significant. Gowns were worn only for handling infants in 96 NBNs (21.9%) and 109 NICUs (24.6%), while 344 physicians (48.3%) preferred this regimen. Gowns were worn in 16 NBNs (3.7%) and 15 NICUs (3.4%) only for isolated infants, but 67 respondents (9.4%) believed this to be the procedure of choice. At our institution, 100 and 300 gowns are worn daily in the NBN and NICU, respectively, at a cost of $0.28 per gown use, generating an estimated yearly expense of $40 880. In addition, the current literature does not support gowning as a means of infection control in this setting.

(AJDC 1986;140:680-683)