Industry Taking Notice of Need for Soft Surface Infection Prevention: Fabrics Made With X-Static Silver Fibers Provide Staff and Patient Protection

Infection control experts agree that cleaner hospitals are safer hospitals. But while hand washing and disinfecting hard surfaces like countertops, floors, bed rails and instruments have helped reduce infection rates, soft surfaces are an overlooked opportunity for infection prevention. A recent article, “Taking a closer look at Attire” in a November issue of AORN Connections, the publication from the Association of perioperative Registered Nurses, highlights the increased attention being paid to soft surface infection prevention in the healthcare facility.90 percent of the patient environment is made of soft surfaces, attire being just one example. Privacy curtains, bed linens and cubicle curtains have also been shows to contain harmful bacteria that have the potential to be transmitted to patients and increase risk for healthcare associated infections (HAIs). Many institutions do not have formal policies for laundering. AORN’s current “Recommended Practices for Surgical Attire” advises facilities to not allow laundering at home, but to utilize an accredited health care laundering facility.However, laundering is simply not enough. In fact, the article also cites a study that found “within a week of being laundered, 92% of hospital privacy curtains are contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria.”  This recontamination is a major obstacle to breaking the chain of infection. The AORN guidelines also address the characteristics of safe surgical attire—noting they “should be tightly woven, stain resistant and durable.” However, there are other characteristics that should be taken into consideration,such as the ability for bacteria to grow on fabric surfaces throughout healthcare settings.X-STATIC is the leader in antimicrobial fabric solutions. Silver’s antimicrobial properties have been well documented andX-STATIC® technology has been developed and researched for...

Residential Washers May Not Kill all Hospital-Acquired Bacteria: Products Powered by X-STATIC ® Offer a Solution

A recent study conducted by researchers from London’s University College discovered that residential washing machines may not utilize the proper amounts of hot water necessary to eliminate some dangerous bacteria (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Acinetobacter, a Gram-negative bacteria) from hospital uniforms.   The study, published in the November issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology – highlights how ineffective laundry techniques may lead to the introduction of hazardous bacteria into home environments.   An article about the study in Infection Control Today (ICT) states: The experiments were performed on nurses’ uniforms worn during a work day, as well as swatches of fabric artificially contaminated with MRSA and Acinetobacter. The researchers studied the two bacteria because both are often associated with healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), and represent two important bacterial types. MRSA is known as a Gram positive bacteria and Acinetobacter as Gram negative. The distinction involves differences in the walls of the bacterial cells. The researchers expect their results are applicable to other types of Gram negative and positive bacteria.   Researchers are planning additional studies to see if common HAI bacteria can remain and develop in residential washing machines after laundering hospital uniforms.  “I like the idea of incorporating X-STATIC ® antimicrobial technology into healthcare worker uniforms. These uniforms could then be considered “engineering controls” -in the language of OSHA- where you minimize the risk of contamination and exposure without depending upon safe work practices by the healthcare staff,” commented Peg Luebbert, Infection Control Expert and Founder of Healthcare Interventions, Inc. “When you reduce the risk of staff uniform contamination – you reduce the risk of exposure to their patients as...