NEWS

New Study from CDC Indicates Linens Were Likely Transmitter of Fungal Infection in Hospital Outbreak

Recent research released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the cross contamination risk associated with soft surface fabrics in healthcare is very real. We consistently hear from the infection prevention community that research, data and evidence-based practice is paramount to spurring healthcare systems to action. The study published in the May 2014 issue of The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, describes an outbreak of a fungal infection (mucormycosis) that occurred between August 2008 and July 2009 in a New Orleans Children’s Hospital. The infection was traced backed to hospital linens as the transmission vehicle. The linens were the only exposure source identified as common to all the patients. The full study can be found here. Fabrics and other soft surfaces in the healthcare environment are fomites and do represent a significant portion of the direct patient environment. Still, guidelines and standard procedures for soft surfaces are severely lacking compared to other surfaces. X-STATIC® is committed to supporting the production of additional research that provides a greater body of evidence in the area of soft surfaces because we know that this represents an untapped opportunity to employ a more complete infection prevention program. Products powered by X-STATIC® antimicrobial technology provide a permanent and continuous solution for reducing bacteria on the surface of fabrics surrounding healthcare staff and patients. Take action to address soft surface fabrics in your facility today. Learn how with this free whitepaper... read more

X-STATIC® is among 100 Infection Prevention Products to Know

Becker’s Hospital Review recently published its list of Top 100 Infection Prevention Products to know! The list outlines products according to category and is a great resource for both the seasoned and novice infection preventionist alike. X-STATIC® Antimicrobial Technology was featured as a must-know product in the textiles category. Textiles, or soft surfaces, in healthcare are often overlooked when it comes to infection prevention, despite recent attention from regulatory agencies.  For example, in one recent survey of infection preventionists, 96 percent used privacy curtains in patient rooms, but 37 percent changed them “only when visibly soiled.” In addition, some changed curtains only every three months or once per year! It’s important to address these soft surfaces –privacy curtains, uniforms, lab coats and bed linens – in a more complete prevention program to effectively break the chain of infection.  Healthcare fabrics powered by X-STATIC® are safe, continuously active surfaces that work to reduce the amount of bacteria in the environment. Have questions? Please contact us at info(at)x-static.com. 1. DeAngelis DL, Khakoo, R. DeAngeleis, D.L. Hospital Privacy Curtains: Cleaning and Changing Policies – Are We Doing Enough? American Journal of Infection Control.... read more

X-STATIC® ANTIMICROBIAL TECHNOLOGY CALLS FOR RESEARCH PROPOSALS

Leads Charge to Prove Soft Surface Fabrics Are Essential for a More Complete Infection Prevention Program Noble Biomaterials, Inc., manufacturer of X-STATIC® Antimicrobial Technology announced a call for research proposals to generate hard evidence supporting the need for soft surface bacterial management in healthcare settings. The call for proposals comes after newly released recommendations from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) shed light on the issue of contaminated healthcare personnel apparel in the hospital environment. Our vision to be the premier provider of bacterial management solutions for healthcare includes supporting the industry to generate the evidence-based practice it needs,” said Karin Mueller, Vice President of Marketing at Noble. “We expect our infection prevention partners to hold us to that standard and we’re equipped to meet and exceed those expectations. There are numerous studies proving healthcare fabrics such as privacy curtains, lab coats, scrubs and linens, are contaminated with dangerous bacteria and that contamination occurs quickly after laundering1. However, the SHEA Expert guidance describes certain research gaps needed to drive facilities to address this issue. Noble pledges to support two such areas: the role attire (and additional healthcare fabrics) plays in the transmission of pathogens and its impact on healthcare associated infections (HAIs), as well as the impact of antimicrobial fabrics on the level of bacteria associated with those fabrics and a cost/benefit analysis of using these as a permanent solution. Healthcare systems and researchers interested in working with Noble are encouraged to submit proposals to research@x-static.com. X-STATIC® is an EPA registered, silver based antimicrobial solution proven to reduce 99.9% of bacteria on the surface of fabrics within... read more

Nurse Angels Clothing Company, LLC Partners With X-STATIC® Technology to Provide Affordable and Fashionable Antimicrobial Apparel

SCRANTON, PA – Nurse Angels Clothing Company LLC™, manufacturer of WINGS™ brand professional medical apparel announced a partnership with Noble Biomaterials to incorporate X-STATIC® Antimicrobial Technology in its new line of scrubs, lab coats, bed linens and patient apparel. The new WINGS™ apparel line includes a unique jumpsuit style uniform to help nurses bring fashion to the workplace. Studies show that multi-drug resistant bacteria can live on fabrics and, as a nurse, I think about how few of us change out of our uniforms before leaving work to head home or to the grocery store or shopping mall,” said Robyn Stephens, RN, BSN, and Managing Partner of Nurse Angels Clothing Company LLC as well as a Clinical Nurse Manager for several departments in a Kansas City metropolitan hospital. “WINGS™ clothing by X-STATIC® technology will ensure our customers not only look great and feel comfortable, but also provide a way to protect their patients and families from infection. X-STATIC® is the premier technology for antimicrobial fabrics and is a registered antimicrobial agent with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The proprietary technology permanently bonds textile fibers with a layer of 99.9 percent pure metallic silver. The silver fibers are woven directly into finished fabrics creating am ionic shield which prevents the growth of bacteria directly on the surface of the fabric. It.is the active ingredient in both FDA-registered and CE-approved products for advanced wound care and has undergone extensive safety testing. In addition to its use in healthcare settings, it is used by Olympic athletes, elite military forces, NASA astronauts and many of the world’s premier consumer brands. Robyn Stephens, designer... read more

Soft Surface Fabrics Identified as a Priority for Infection Prevention In Recent Issue of Healthcare Purchasing News

February’s issue of Healthcare Purchasing News discusses contaminated soft surfaces as an important part of improving environmental hygiene and creating a more effective infection prevention program. On the heels of a recent announcement from the Society of Epidemiology of America (SHEA) concerning healthcare personnel attire, this continues the drive toward better addressing soft surfaces fabrics in facilities nationwide. While many regulatory guidelines and recommendations are outdated for soft surfaces, the recent attention SHEA has given to this issue points us in a promising direction.In a previous post, we talked about how establishing a baseline and conducting an assessment of soft surfaces can get you started on the right track toward incorporating them into a more complete infection prevention protocol. The article from HPN also profiled several solutions available to healthcare facilities today including X-STATIC® antimicrobial technology.It’s important to choose a product that is EPA-registered and provides a permanent solution through continuous antimicrobial activity. A permanent solution will remove staff compliance issues. To view this entire article, please visit... read more

SHEA Releases New Guidance for Healthcare Personnel Attire

The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) recently issued new guidance on attire worn by personnel in healthcare facilities. SHEA’s recommendations concluded “attire should attempt to balance professional appearance, comfort, and practicality with the potential role of apparel in the cross-transmission of pathogens.”The organization called for more clinical studies to determine the relationship between attire and healthcare associated infections (HAIs), however noted several studies that demonstrate various types of attire can be contaminated. Find the full guidance “Healthcare Personnel Attire in Non-Operating-Room Settings”published in the Journal of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology here: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/675066 This guidance is an important step in updating regulations concerning soft surface fabrics, but more work is needed.SHEA discusses daily laundering and a “bare-below-the-elbows” approach for attire. However,additional studies have shown heavy contamination of pockets as well. Other soft surface fabrics such as privacy curtains and bed linens have also proven to be fomites and healthcare staff should be educated on the risks associated with touching these surfaces before touching a patient.Laundering daily is certainly essential, but fabrics are rapidly contaminated after being put back in use, so this is also not the only line of defense. It is clear soft surface fabrics need to have a place in a comprehensive infection prevention program to effectively break the chain of transmission. We can all agree that cleaner hospitals and safer hospitals. X-STATIC® is committed to providing research support and generating the evidence-based practice needed to stir facilities to action. Products powered by X-STATIC®are proven to permanently and continuously reduce bacteria on the surface of fabrics. This coupled with proper hand hygiene and hard surface... read more

Promise Hospital in San Diego Addresses Contamination of Soft Surface Fabrics

Did you catch the recent article in Infection Control Today profiling one facility’s work on soft surface fabrics? Infection Preventionist Victor Lange at Promise Hospital in San Diego, California describes the importance of the patient environment in the transmission of infection, but recognized that soft surface fabrics are often overlooked in determining the source of those infections. Because of this, the facility decided to look at one type of fabric that comes in direct and almost constant contact with the patient – their pillows. Lange and his team conducted a study that showed recently disinfected hospital pillows may not be very clean after all. The researchers swabbed 100 “patient-ready” reusable vinyl-covered pillows over a five-week span. The subsequent analysis showed 38 percent were contaminated with pathogens including MRSA, VRE, E. faecalis, E. coli, P. stuartii, and Yeast, among others. The hospital is taking steps to address the issue including reviewing products with an embedded antimicrobial. It’s essential that we collectively recognize the important role fabrics play in contributing to overall bioburden in the patient environment. Effectively breaking the chain of infection requires a complete infection prevention program addressing all potential bacteria reservoirs. Have you recently looked at contamination of pillows or bedding in your facility? Are you concerned about contamination of other types of fabrics? Let us know in the comment... read more

Evaluation of Infection Prevention Procedures and Establishing a Baseline: Important Steps to Reduce Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs)

A new survey published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control (AJIC) reveals that evaluation of current infection prevention policies, and staff adherence to those policies, can reveal gaps in practice and opportunities for improving patient safety.  According to the authors of the article, establishing a baseline is important in determining where to apply interventions as well as for evaluating success. They go on to state, “We believe that identifying the gaps and addressing them as a system will help lead to marked improvements in safety for our patients.”[1] Infection preventionists and quality and safety directors should consider all aspects of the healthcare environment when reviewing procedures. While this article does not specifically look at standards for fabrics in the patient care environment (i.e., lab coats, privacy curtains, bed linens), leaving these out could be potentially dangerous.  Studies have identified gram positive bacteria, including those that are multi-drug resistant, can survive on cotton and polyester – common materials for healthcare fabrics.[2] Moreover, high touch surfaces such as privacy curtains represent a greater risk due to infrequent changing and laundering. A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Infection Control identified 92 percent of privacy curtains sampled were contaminated within one week and “eight curtains yielded VRE at multiple time points: 3 with persistence of a single isolate type and 5 with different types, suggesting frequent recontamination.”[3] Healthcare fabrics have been proven to be contaminated and deserve as much attention as other fomites such as hard surfaces and hands. A thorough evaluation of current practice regarding product selection, laundering and staff behavior is an important... read more

Noble Partner, Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI) Completes Acquisition of Systagenix

Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI), recently announced it has completed its acquisition of Systagenix, a renowned UK-based provider of advanced wound care solutions. Upon completion, KCI formed one company with LifeCell Corporation and Systagenix solidifying its position as a global leader in wound care solutions. Noble Biomaterials recently renewed its partnership with KCI to provide X-STATIC®antimicrobial technology to the company’s V.A.C.®GranuFoam Silver® Dressing.Noble had previously been the technology provider, and this new agreement will continue the relationship ensuring the benefits of X-STATIC®touch millions of patients and help improve lives worldwide. To learn more about KCI’s recent acquisition, please visit Systagenix.com. For more on the X-STATIC® partnership with KCI visit... read more

Stephan Winnen Joins Noble Biomaterials as New Managing Director Europe

SCRANTON, Pa. – (EON: Enhanced Online News) – Noble Biomaterials Inc., a global leader in bacterial management solutions and manufacturer of X-STATIC®, has appointed Stephan Winnen as Managing Director Europe. In this new position, Winnen will oversee corporate operations and business development of the X-STATIC® brand in the European medical, military, industrial and apparel markets. “Stephan joins us with a deep advanced-materials background gained from 20 years of experience at some of the most well-known textile and manufacturing companies,” said Jeff Keane, Noble Biomaterials CEO. “His global perspective, entrepreneurial spirit and experienced approach will drive our business forward in the European market.” Prior to joining Noble, Winnen was the executive sales manager of Max Schlatterer GmbH & Co KG, a manufacturer of production equipment marketed and sold worldwide under the Esband brand name. Before that, he was at Sympatex Technologies/Ploucquet, a leading supplier of performance materials for apparel, footwear, accessories and technical applications. While there, Winnen was integral in orchestrating a restructuring and relocation to one central office in Munich and created the organization’s international infrastructure in Hong Kong, and Beijing. Winnen’s experience is rooted in his family’s business, Heinrich Winnen GmbH & Co, a mid-sized, internationally-oriented company with more than a 100 year history in the production of quality apparel, personal protective clothing and equipment. “X-STATIC® is poised for incredible growth in Europe and I’m honored to help guide the Noble team and support our brand partners as we embark on this journey,” said Winnen. Winnen is based in Herbrechtingen, Germany and reports to Jeff Keane.   About X-STATIC® Made with 99.9% pure silver, X-STATIC® enhances products with permanent anti-odor and... read more

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