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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

International Infection Prevention Week: Celebrating Advancement and Looking Toward the Future

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW) is October 20-26, 2013. While we take the time to recognize the important work infection preventionists do every day, this week also brings awareness to the work that still needs to be done. Through this year’s theme, “Infection Prevention and You,” the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) aim to have every healthcare worker, patient and visitor actively doing their part to reduce the healthcare-associated infections. To date, very little attention has been given to bacterial management of soft surface fabrics compared to infection prevention protocols for hand hygiene and hard surface disinfection. Clinical studies have shown fabrics in healthcare to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria and ignoring them can decrease the effectiveness of the overall infection prevention bundle. Consider taking time this week to conduct a SWIFT risk assessment in relation to the healthcare laundered fabrics that surround your staff and patients. The “Structured What If Technique” involves evaluating a normal activity, like wearing a uniform, and subjecting that to “What If” situations to identify potential failures and risks. Another important step is to understand the level of staff education on the risks associated with fabrics in your facility as well as evaluating antimicrobial fabric solutions. For a more in-depth look at these techniques download our free whitepaper. For the current and comprehensive clinical evidence on contamination of soft surfaces, download Infection Control Today’s most recent mini-report“Soft-Surface Contamination in the Patient-Care Environment and Antimicrobial Textiles” at www.infectioncontroltoday.com. The paper discusses how “the use of antimicrobial textiles could be one more useful tool in the arsenal against HAIs.” X-STATIC® technology is... read more

X-STATIC® Technology Improves the Lives of Millions Through Partnership with KCI

Noble Biomaterials, Inc. announced it has renewed its relationship with KCI Manufacturing, an affiliate of Kinetic Concepts, Inc. (KCI), as the antimicrobial technology partner for the company’s V.A.C.® GranuFoam Silver® Dressing. Noble had previously been the technology provider, and this new agreement will continue that relationship for several years. “Our vision is to be the premier provider of bacterial management solutions for health improvement applications,” said Jeff Keane, CEO of Noble. “This continued partnership supports our mission to improve people’s lives and helps us provide solutions that touch countless patients and their families every day.” Utilizing Noble’s proprietary X-STATIC® antimicrobial technology, the V.A.C. ® GranuFoam Silver® Dressing provides an effective barrier to bacterial penetration and may help reduce infection in millions of patients suffering from chronic, acute, sub-acute, traumatic, and dehisced wounds, partial thickness burns, ulcers, flaps and grafts. It was jointly designed and optimized for use with the KCI V.A.C. ® Therapy System to deliver negative pressure to help heal patient wounds. “KCI is a recognized global leader in advanced wound care technology,” said Karin Mueller Recchione, VP of Marketing at Noble. “And our partnership allows us jointly to deliver the benefits of X-STATIC®technology to patients worldwide.” V.A.C. ® GranuFoam Silver® Dressing allows the silver coated foam pores to come in direct contact with the wound, eliminating the need for additional silver dressing layers. X-STATIC® technology provides 100 percent surface coverage even after sizing the dressing. It has been shown to inhibit in vitro growth of more than 150 types of microorganisms including common wound pathogens such asStaphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Klebsiella pneumonia. In vitro studies have also... read more

Noble Biomaterials, Maker of X-STATIC® and XT2, Certified as bluesign® System Partner

SCRANTON, Pa. – (BUSINESS WIRE) – Noble Biomaterials, Inc., the global leader in bacterial management solutions and manufacturer of X-STATIC® and X-STATIC®XT2 technologies, announces it has achieved bluesign® system partnership after undergoing stringent bluesign® screening. The bluesign® system partnership will assure manufacturers, retailers and consumers that the production of X-STATIC® and XT2 fibers is environmentally friendly and committed to the contemporary sustainable textile requirements set forth by the bluesign® system. The independent bluesign® system follows a unique approach to minimize environmental impact throughout the production process. Instead of testing finished products, the bluesign® system is applied where the production begins. On-site visits of independent experts certify that companies’ production processes meet five necessary requirements: resource productivity, air emission, occupational health and safety, water emission and consumer safety. As bluesign® technologies performs regular audits, system partners regularly report their progress and must meet improvement goals to maintain their status. “Consumers today expect athletic apparel to deliver maximum performance while ensuring they’re made using eco-friendly materials,” said Jeff Keane, CEO, Noble Biomaterials. “Our bluesign® system partner status allows us to work with brands that require anti-odor technologies that are environmentally sustainable.”   About bluesign® technologies ag Swiss-based bluesign® technologies ag was founded in 2000. Since then, the bluesign® system has been adopted by worldwide leading textile manufacturers. Various significant key players of the chemical and machine industry apply the bluesign® system. Well-known brands of the sportswear and fashion industry rely on the extensive knowledge of bluesign® technologies. SGS holds a stake of 80% in bluesign® technologies ag. For more information, visit www.bluesign.com.   About Noble Biomaterials X-STATIC® X-STATIC® is a registered trademark of... read more

X-STATIC® Antimicrobial Technology and lululemonForm Strategic Alliance Partnership Ensures Premier Odor Control Performance in Athletic Apparel

Noble Biomaterials, Inc.today announced a global strategic alliance with lululemon athletica canada Inc. The partnership gives lululemon exclusivity to use Noble’s X-STATIC®antimicrobial technology in its performance apparel lines. The announcement was made by lululemon on its September 12th earnings call. “An alliance with a top athletic brand like lululemon advances Noble’s mission to be the premier provider of bacterial and odor management solutions,” said Jeff Keane, CEO of Noble Biomaterials. “We share a vision with lululemon to keep both people and products performing at their best, making it a winning partnership for each company.” Noble has been a long standing partner of lululemon, providing its X-STATIC® technology for the company’s Silverescent® fabric since 2005.Made with 99.9% pure metallic silver, X-STATIC® is designed to provide permanent odor protection by naturally inhibiting the growth of bacteria on the surface of fabrics. The X-STATIC® fiber is woven directly into the garment and will not wash out over time through laundering. For more information visit www.x-staticperformance.com. “lululemon has worked with Noble for nearly a decade to differentiate our products and we welcome the opportunity to solidify this partnership,” said Christine Day, CEO of lululemon. “This unique opportunity allows us to continue to innovate our technical product with X-STATIC®, which has helped lululemon set the industry standard by using the most powerful silver fabric technology to create our Silverescent fabrics, and secure our leadership position in the “anti-stink” athletic apparel market.” X-STATIC®is a proprietary silver-based antimicrobial solution and the active ingredient in both FDA and CE-approved products used in the healthcaremarketplace. It has been proven effective by US Special Forces, NASA Astronauts and Olympic athletes,... read more

X-STATIC® Sponsors Infection Control Today Report on Contamination of Soft Surfaces and Antimicrobial Textile Solutions

X-STATIC®antimicrobial technology recently sponsored a report from Infection Control Today titled, “Soft Surface Contamination in the Patient-Care Environment and Antimicrobial Textiles.”  The report discusses how healthcare laundered fabrics such as privacy curtains, uniforms and lab costs play an important role in the transmission of bacteria in the patient environment. It presents robust clinical data confirming these surfaces harbor pathogenic bacteria and these bacteria can be transmitted to healthcare worker hands. Because of the infrequent laundering practices (see our blog post on uniform laundering habits) these surfaces post a potential risk in contributing to the spread of infection. In light of this, author Kelly Pyrek states “the use of antimicrobial textiles could be one more useful tool in the arsenal against HAIs.” Kelly Reynolds, MSPH, PhD, associate professor in the CommunityEnvironment and Policy Division at the Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, University of Arizona is also quoted in the report saying,“While their risk impact has not been quantitatively evaluated, I believe they [textiles] are as important in infection control as any other surfaces vulnerable to contamination.” The clinical evidence and expert opinions confirm that fabrics in healthcare should be incorporated into an overall infection prevention program. X-STATIC® technology provides permanent and continuous antimicrobial protection on the surface of the fabrics that surround you and your patients. To learn more, download the report and our other educational resources on Infection Control Today... read more

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Video explaining the Mechanism of Action of X-STATIC®


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