How to distinguish a gown from a surgical gown?

Emanuele Mortarotti in
31 July 2020

Today we are trying to outline the differences between the gowns worn by health care staff.

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Another appointment with Dispotech news: Today we are trying to outline the differences between the gowns worn by health care staff. There are at least 3 different types and it is good to know how they differ from each other, to make sure they are used correctly. Thanks to the support of an interesting article published on we are able to provide you with a short overview. Have a great read!


There are 3 personal protective equipment commonly used in healthcare: we are talking about disposable insulation gowns, disposable protective clothing and disposable surgical gowns. Often, however, many people tend to get them mixed up: in this article we will use 3 different aspects - function, method of use, design and manufacturing materials - to outline the most important differences.



  • Disposable insulation gowns: protective equipment used by medical personnel to prevent contamination by blood, body fluids and other substances. Also used to protect patients from contracting infections.
  • Disposable protective clothing: worn by medical personnel when dealing with patients suffering from infectious diseases to protect healthcare professionals from the risk of infection.
  • Disposable surgical gown: The disposable surgical gown is primarily a protection for both the medical staff and the patient, serving as a protective barrier. It is used during surgery to prevent infection or contact with body fluids, also protecting the clothing and skin of medical personnel.



  • Disposable insulation gowns: this type of protective clothing is used when in contact with patients suffering from infectious diseases transmitted through contact, patients needing protective insulation (if, for example, they have burns on the body) and are essential to protect medical staff from blood splashes, secretions or excrements. They are also necessary when accessing particularly at-risk wards such as intensive care, neonatal intensive care, etc.
  • Disposable protective clothing: this type of clothing is mainly worn when in contact with patients suffering from infectious disease or with suspected/confirmed diagnosis of SARS, Ebola, MERS, H7N9 avian influenza, etc.
  • Disposable surgical gown: used exclusively in the operating theatre, these gowns are aseptically sterilised.


Design and materials used

  • Disposable insulation gowns: they are usually made of non-woven fabric or other materials such as plastic films, which provide additional protection. The gown must protect the torso and, consequently, prevent contamination of clothing worn by medical personnel; it must also be tear and abrasion resistant in order to protect people wearing it 100%.
  • Disposable protective clothing: sector regulations indicate that disposable protective clothing consists of a hooded top and one pair of trousers (but can also be in one piece, i.e. a coverall). It is necessary to have elastic straps to tighten the area of the wrists and ankles, to ensure greater containment and safety. In addition, pursuant to the standards, these protective clothing must be waterproof and resistant to tearing and abrasion.
  • Disposable surgical gowns: according to regulations, disposable surgical gowns must be absolutely waterproof and sterile; they must also have elastics at the wrists to make room for the sterile gloves worn by medical personnel.

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