Cardinal Health Unveils New Surgical Drapes With Enhanced Ability to Fight Hospital Infections

MCGAW PARK, Ill. -- Cardinal Health, a leading provider of products and services supporting the healthcare industry, announced today it has received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market a new fabric technology for surgical draping called Tiburon. The company made the announcement and introduced the new technology at the 50th Annual Congress of the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) in Chicago.

"This exclusive new line of impervious, single-use surgical drapes offers the highest level of patient and clinician protection in the industry," said James P. Stauner, president of the perioperative products and services business of Cardinal Health.

Widespread reports highlight the serious risk of hospital-acquired infections. In July 2002, The Chicago Tribune reported more than 103,000 deaths occurred in 2000 linked to hospital-acquired infections. The report concluded that 75,000 were preventable. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 3 percent of all patients undergoing surgery acquire infections, costing the industry an estimated $3 billion annually.

Reports published in Infection Control Today and Surgery, Gynecology and Obstetrics indicate that surgical drapes -- which cover patients and operating room equipment in surgery -- are important in the prevention of surgical site infections. Such infections pose an especially serious risk to patients undergoing invasive procedures such as cardiac bypass surgery.

The perioperative products and services business of Cardinal Health is a global leader in the development of surgical non-woven fabrics, which are sold primarily under the Convertors brand name. The business is part of Cardinal Health's Medical Products and Services group, which manufactures and distributes medical, surgical and laboratory products and offers a range of consulting services that improve patient care and reduce costs.

The new Tiburon technology is a microfiber composite containing three fabric layers: an absorbent fluid-control layer, an impermeable membrane and a patient comfort layer. Together, these layers significantly outperform competitive technologies in a wide range of industry-standard tests including puncture resistance, strength, and absorbency. Tests also show much lower levels of lint particulate, which can provide a transmission mechanism for pathogens. Tiburon's fluid barrier properties qualify the fabric technology as "impervious" by rigorous FDA recognized standards.

Tiburon replaces Convertors' Optima spunlaced fabric, which has been the leading single-use drape fabric technology since 1985.

Tiburon's absorbent top layer holds and disperses fluid, keeping it from pooling on top of the patient, which could lead to strike through and contamination. If fluids strike through a drape, microorganisms can enter the wound or surgical site, greatly increasing the risk of infection. As an extra measure, most of the Tiburon cardiovascular and orthopedic drapes are reinforced with Iso-Bac, an antimicrobial agent that provides an additional defense against pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidids and Enterococcus feacali, and many other microorganisms.

"Our efforts are focused primarily on helping reduce costly surgical-site infections," Stauner said. "We continually update and improve our barrier technology to offer care-givers and their patients the greatest protection we can. We believe that Tiburon's impervious qualities coupled with the antimicrobial properties of Iso-Bac give it a unique advantage over other drapes. With barrier protection and puncture resistance in one layer, Tiburon also saves material costs and setup time by eliminating the need for doubling up on drapes."

Cardinal Health, Inc. is a leading provider of products and services supporting the healthcare industry. Cardinal Health companies develop, manufacture, package and market products for patient care; develop drug-delivery technologies; distribute pharmaceuticals, medical-surgical and laboratory supplies; and offer consulting and other services that improve quality and efficiency in healthcare.

Source: Cardinal Health, Inc.