Frequent and unexpected deviations from personal protective equipment guidelines increase contamination risks

Published:April 24, 2019DOI:


      • Hospital workers often fail to follow proper personal protective equipment (PPE) doffing guidelines.
      • Doffing errors can arise as a consequence of errors in donning.
      • Alternative approaches for training personnel in PPE use should be explored.
      • Simplification of gown closure processes may help limit contamination risks.
      Personal protective equipment (PPE) training aims to reinforce the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for donning and doffing; however, many health care and ancillary personnel use non-guideline methods to don and doff their PPE gowns and gloves. We found that hospital personnel commonly deviated from the guidelines, increasing the likelihood of self-contamination. Furthermore, securing the gown ties inappropriately was an especially common problem that consequently increased doffing missteps.

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      1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sequence for donning and removing personal protective equipment (PPE). Available from: Accessed March 29, 2019.

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