A recent study published in the September 2011 edition of the American Journal of Infection Control (vol. 39, no. 7, pps. 555-559) verified that soft surface textiles are a major source of bacterial contamination in healthcare settings.  The study, which involved 238 samples from 135 hospital personnel from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, confirmed that “63 percent of physician and nurse uniforms test[ed] positive for pathogenic organisms, including those that are multi-drug resistant….”

The study highlights the importance of bacterial management for soft surface textiles which “account for 90 percent of the healthcare patient environment and include patient gowns, privacy curtains and bed linens.”  Results from the study include the finding that “potentially pathogenic bacteria were isolated from at least one site of the gowns in 85 of the 135 participants (63 percent).”

Russell Olmsted (APIC 2011 President and Director) recently discussed this study for Becker’s ASC Review (September 19, 2011).  “Studies that identify which microorganisms are recovered from a variety of surfaces, attire and equipment (stethoscope, blood pressure cuff, hospital bed rails, etc.) do elicit a lot of attention from healthcare professionals and the general public” says Olmsted.

According to Joel Furey, President of Noble Biomaterials’ Healthcare Division, “this study further underscores the need for healthcare settings to do all they can to minimize – and eliminate – patient risk of contamination including creating and enforcing standardized guidelines for laundering. Today’s healthcare bacterial management practices focus on hand hygiene and hard surface sanitization. Fabrics made with X-STATIC ® silver fibers, have an antimicrobial fiber technology clinically-proven to reduce 99.9% of bacteria and add a critical dimension to infection control efforts not currently being employed.”

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X-STATIC ® antimicrobial technology provides a simple and cost-effective method for hospitals to deliver a proven bacterial management solution for soft surface textile materials. X-STATIC ® fibers are permanently bonded with a layer of 99.9% pure metallic silver, which creates an ionic shield that inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi for the life of the product. This decreases the overall level of bacterial contamination, which would have the potential to transmit to the patient. X-STATIC ® technology is clinically-proven to reduce 99.9% of bacteria directly on the fabric in healthcare settings. For more information visit www.InfectionPreventionTextiles.com.

X-STATIC ® is a registered trademark of Noble Fiber Technologies, LLC. Noble Biomaterials, Inc. is a global leader in bacterial management solutions. The company develops, manufactures, sells and markets advanced antimicrobial technologies designed to manage all forms of bacterial contamination. Noble is a strategic partner of APIC and works closely with the infection prevention community toward the common goal of reducing healthcare associated infections. It has more than 200 global licensees for products in the medical, defense, industrial and consumer markets and the company’s headquarters and manufacturing facilities are located in Scranton, PA, with global offices in Europe, Asia and South America.