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 well as their own families in the home setting.”

Click here to review the article from Infection Control Today
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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.