New medical isolation gowns open ICU doors to young visitors

August 01, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
EDMOND, OKLA.— A new product now available from an Oklahoma-based firm could mean good medicine for intensive care patients, according to a growing body of medical studies and professional opinion.

Envision Medical Technology's disposable pediatric isolation gown is one of the newest products being offered by Masks n More, an Edmond company that markets medical masks and gloves, respirators, and related health care supplies through its website,

The child-size gowns are latex-free, and are available in two sizes to fit children from 2 years old to 12. The non-woven polyethylene gowns are the first of their kind to come on the market, according to Tim Kawakami, co-owner of Masks n More, along with his wife, Marilyn.

Kawakami said the new product is a timely one, for patients and their families as well as for hospital administrators battling to hold the line on expenses.

For medical consumers, the gowns are arriving at a time when an increasing number of hospitals are recognizing that family involvement and visitation for even the sickest patients can have a positive impact, he noted.

He pointed to reports from such bodies as the American College of Critical Care Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control that confirm the benefits of allowing patients open visitation from family members, as long as precautions are in place. The impermeable isolation gowns can be part of an approach that minimizes risks and maximizes the family’s contributions to a patient’s well-being.

“Family support can have positive effects on critically ill patients, so limiting visitation in critical care units may not be in patients’ best interests,” Kawakami summed up the studies.

The gowns can also be the right prescription for the always cost-conscious hospitals themselves, he added.

Cost studies have demonstrated that disposable gowns—which are currently being sold for a special introductory price of 70-cents each through Masks n More—turn out to be cheaper than reusable gowns, when laundering expenses and loss are factored in. In one case, a 458-bed hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., reported achieving savings of $82,000 by switching from reusable gowns to disposable polyethylene ones.

Consumers and healthcare institutions interested in ordering or learning more about Envision Medical Technology disposable pediatric isolation gowns can visit or contact the company by telephone at (405) 340-8669. Free samples also are available, along with an extensive line of other medical supplies.

The Kawakamis founded Masks n More in 2003, both to address a personal need and to branch out into what they thought would be a part-time business.

“We began this business as a result of Tim's frustration with trying to find good respiratory protection at local pharmacies and do-it-yourself stores to help with his allergies and asthma,” Marilyn Kawakami said.

“We began as a home-based business, intending to supplement our income. … last year, we moved the business to a light commercial area, where we have our offices and warehouse.”