ebola liberia
A family watches as a burial team wearing protective clothing lowers their loved one into a grave. The Ebola outbreak has killed more than 8,000 in West Africa. John Moore/Getty Images

Health workers treating people affected by the deadly virus of Ebola and other contagious diseases are at a great risk of contracting the ailments if they touch the contaminated protective equipment they wear when assisting patients.

That risk is increased by the presence of clinical waste bins overflowing with contaminated equipment in hospitals. As a result, hospital staff, visitors and environmental workers in charge of disposing of gowns are at risk of contamination.

In order to decrease the chances of contagion, Ginny Porowski, a nurse and health care innovator from Chicago, invented the GoGown, a disposable gown that decreases the risk of touching contaminated garments and reduces waste volume.

"The GoGown has an inside panel that allows the used contaminated gown and gloves to be wrapped into a small bundle for disposal," Porowski told IBtimes UK. "The entire process takes place without touching the contaminated portion of the gown.

"The added weight-per-inch of the wrapped gown package causes the discarded gown to sink to the lowest portion of the waste receptacle, allowing more gowns to be safely discarded without waste overflow. The end result is a decreased opportunity for contact contamination of microbes."

Ebola GoGown invention
A demonstration on how to use the GoGown YouTube

Porowski explained that normal disposable gowns are light and flimsy, which can cause clinical waste bins to be filled to overflowing with just three or four discarded gowns, increasing the risk of contamination.

"Even if I have not been treating Ebola patients, I am aware that contact contamination is a great concern in the Ebola crisis as it is with all infections and that waste receptacles in isolation rooms are often overflowing with contaminated gowns," she said. "Even if there wasn't a waste receptacle, the GoGown is still a safer way to dispose of contaminated items."

Porowski, who invented the gown to facilitate the work of hospital staff and make patients and families feel more comfortable in isolation rooms, has received positive feedback.

She said: "The GoGown is the next generation of disposable gowns because it reduces the potential of infection at every point. People tell me that my invention is very simple and logical and that is something that will increase the safety of people. And this is why I designed it."