X-STATIC®, the silver-based fiber technology used widely by U.S. military forces, Olympic athletes, NASA astronauts and hundreds of well-known consumer brands, is now available to the healthcare textile industry. Soft surfaces constitute 90 percent of the patient healthcare environment and include privacy curtains, lab coats, scrubs, bed linens and cubicle curtains. Clinical studies have proven these surfaces are highly contaminated by pathogenic organisms (1-2) which have the potential to transmit to patients and cause healthcare-associated infections (HAIs).
HAIs take the lives of nearly 100,000 people annually and cost billions of dollars in additional medical treatments. Although hospitals continue efforts to improve infection control, standardized practices for soft surface bacterial management are inadequate compared with those for hand and environmental hygiene. Further, laundering practices are inconsistent and simply ineffective, as re-contamination occurs after laundered items are put into use.(2)
Textiles made with X-STATIC® silver antimicrobial technology have been clinically-proven to inhibit the growth of bacteria directly on the surface of the fabric. X-STATIC delivers quick, comprehensive and permanent protection with a continuous release of silver ions that lasts for the life of the product.
"Soft surfaces represent a clear gap in everyday infection prevention practice," says Peg Luebbert, an infection control expert and founder of Healthcare Interventions, Inc. "Handwashing/sanitization is only effective until a healthcare worker touches a contaminated soft surface through regular behaviors like opening a privacy curtain or retrieving a pen from a pocket. For example, if a healthcare worker washes his/her hands and then puts those hands in a contaminated uniform pocket before touching a patient, the risk of cross contamination still exists."
Products made with X-STATIC antimicrobial technology also mitigate compliance challenges because the healthcare staff is not required to change behavior or protocols. "Antimicrobial textiles are "engineering controls" in OSHA terms," Luebbert adds. "They minimize the risk of contamination and exposure without depending upon safe work practices by the healthcare staff."
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.
1. Trillis F. Contamination of Hospital Curtains With Healthcare-Associated Pathogens. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 2008; 29:1074-1076.
2. Wiener-Well Y. Nursing and Physician Attire as Possible Source of Nosocomial Infections. Amer. Journal of Infection Control 2011; Vol. 39, Issue 7; 555-559.