Background: A four month prospective study on routine gowning before entering a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit was conducted at the Philippine Heart Center. This study was done based on previous work by Pelke, et. al., from Honolulu, Hawaii and Tan S.G. in Singapore. The aim of the study was to test the null hypothesis if no gowning decreases the rate of respiratory infection particularly nosocomial pneumonia.
Methods: A total of 56 pediatric patients were included in the study, 32 patients for gowning and 24 patients for no gowning. All patients regardless of their diagnosis who were between 0 to 19, were included. All cases admitted in PICU for more than three days were studied. Alternate one month gowning (control group) and no gowning (study group) cycle was established in an 11-bed capacity, with level II and III patients in PICU. Patients who were included in one group were not included in the other unless readmitted. Indicators of respiratory infection used were: a) nursing assessment-nasal flaring, breathing pattern, breath sounds, temperature, respiratory rate, coughing, b) laboratory work up included complete blood count chest x-ray, endotracheal gram stain, culture stain.
Results: Findings revealed using t-test that all indicators of respiratory infection were found to be statistically significant at 0.01 level except coughing, it showed the comparison of mean incidence of indicators between gowning and no gowning group which was different. Results of the study found that no gowning decreases the rate of respiratory infection.
Conclusion/Recommendation: Indicators of respiratory infection except coughing and demographic data such as length of stay and number of antibiotic therapy has a relationship with indicators of respiratory infection. It is affected during gowning and no gowning. The cost of gown issued in PICU is P 143,855.00 including the laundry as a package deal for one year. The investigators recommend that routine gowning before entering PICU is essential and cost-effective for the purpose of reducing nosocomial pneumonia. However, gowning can be used for soiling purposes and focus should be on adequate hand washing and use of mask by all hospital personnel and visitors before entering PICU.