Determining AAMI levels includes four standard tests to evaluate the barrier effectiveness of surgical and isolation gowns. These standard tests determine liquid barrier performance and classification of protective apparel intended for use in health care facilities. Based on the results of these standardized tests, four levels of barrier performance are determined, with Level 1 being the lowest level of protection, and Level 4 being the highest level of protection. Isolation and surgical gown testing requirements only use water as a challenge due to the fact that the surface tension of water is much higher than that of blood, blood can penetrate through fabrics more readily than water. So which level gown works best for you? Check out our AAMI Levels Guide below!
AAMI Levels GuideLevel 1
MINIMAL FLUID BARRIER PROTECTION
For use only for none to very little fluid exposure. Some resistance to water spray.
- Minimal risk, to be used, for example, during basic care, standard isolation, a cover gown for visitors, or in a standard medical unit
LOW FLUID BARRIER PROTECTION
For use only for low-fluid, minimally invasive medical procedures. Resistant to water spray and some resistance to water penetration under constant contact with increasing pressure.
- Low risk, to be used, for example, during blood drawing, suturing, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), or a pathology lab
MODERATE FLUID BARRIER PROTECTION
Used for the widest range of medical procedures, where moderate fluid protection is indicated. Resistant to water spray and fair resistance to water penetration under constant contact with increasing pressure.
- Moderate risk, to be used, for example, during arterial blood draw, inserting an Intravenous (IV) line, in the Emergency Room, or for trauma cases
HIGHEST FLUID AND MICROBIAL BARRIER
Blood and viral penetration resistance. Needed for long, fluid-intensive procedures.
- High risk, to be used, for example, during long, fluid intense procedures, surgery, when pathogen resistance is needed or infectious diseases are suspected (non-airborne)
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015, November 20). Personal Protective Equipment Information. [Web Post]. Retrieved from wwwn.cdc.gov
FDA. (2020, March 11). Medical Gowns. [Web Post]. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/personal-protective-equipment-infection-control/medical-gowns