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Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc. today reported publication of a commentary that supports the rationale for everyday use of its VESTEX® Active Barrier1 garments to help shield healthcare workers from exposure to body fluids. The recently published commentary, co-authored by Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group, a national nonprofit watchdog committed to driving quality, safety, and transparency in the U.S. healthcare system, and Vestagen founder Ben Favret, presents the findings of the Leapfrog Health Care Worker Safety Work Group. It highlights the link between healthcare worker and patient safety and identifies areas for potential improvement.
Favret noted, “Vestagen welcomed the opportunity to support the work of The Leapfrog Group, a uniquely effective advocate with a track record of promoting improvements in the quality and safety of U.S. healthcare. It is an honor to serve as co-chair of the Leapfrog Partner Advisory Committee and to co-author this commentary. We developed VESTEX Active Barrier fabric to produce healthcare worker garments for everyday use that repel fluids, incorporate antimicrobial properties and are breathable and comfortable. Our goal is to help minimize the risks associated with unanticipated body fluid exposures--a frequent occurrence in many healthcare settings. We will continue to support initiatives to raise awareness of these risks and to promote policies and programs that reduce their impact.”
The Leapfrog commentary, “Closing the Gap between Health Care Worker and Patient Safety,” identifies exposure to blood and body fluids as an important source of risk in hospitals and notes that an estimated 80 percent of these exposures are unexpected. In those instances when fluid exposures are anticipated, healthcare workers are encouraged to take precautions and protect themselves with barrier garments or personal protective equipment (PPE). However, relatively low compliance with wearing PPE, improper removal of PPE and outright failure of PPE technology all contribute to greater exposure risk. The paper notes that relatively simple measures such as everyday use of active barrier worker apparel can reduce both unanticipated exposures and patient and worker risks, especially when the measures are part of a broad horizontal approach to infection prevention.
In its commentary, the Leapfrog Work Group recommends that measurements of progress in implementing programs to reduce the risks from fluid exposures be included in voluntary surveillance systems such as the National Healthcare Safety Network and the Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet®). The Work Group also recommended that a Leapfrog Expert Panel consider measures related to worker safety for potential future inclusion in the Leapfrog Hospital Survey.
VESTEX Active Barrier fabric is a unique combination of technologies that addresses the need for continuous-wear, comfortable healthcare worker and patient garments intended to minimize the risks associated with unanticipated exposure to body fluids during routine use, by repelling fluid splatter and spills from the fabric. VESTEX fabric is breathable and it contains an EPA-registered antimicrobial agent2 shown in controlled conditions in laboratory and hospital settings to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria on the fabric.3,4 A peer-reviewed hospital-based study published in a leading medical journal showed reduced acquisition and retention of certain microorganisms on VESTEX scrubs compared to conventional healthcare uniforms.
Reference: Closing the Gap Between Health Care Worker and Patient Safety, Leah Binder, MA, MGA, Ben Favret, American Journal of Medical Quality, First published: April-11, 2017, DOI: 10.1177/1062860617703729.
1. Neither liquid repellency nor antimicrobial tests are intended to assess the VESTEX active barrier apparel’s ability to meet personal protective equipment requirements. The ability of the fabric to reduce exposure to microorganisms or infections has not been studied.
2. VESTEX garments do not protect users or others against disease-causing bacteria. Always clean the garment thoroughly after each use.
3 . Bearman, G., Rosato, A., Elam, K., Sanogo, K., Stevens, M., Sessler, C., and Wenzel, R. P., “A Cross-over Trial of Antimicrobial Scrubs to Reduce MRSA Burden on Healthcare Worker Apparel,” Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol., Vol. 33, No. 3, 2012, pp. 268–275;
4. Hardwick M, Walsh T and Cotton M. Fabric Challenge Assays: New Standards for the Evaluation of the Performance of Textiles Treated with Antimicrobial Agents. Pesticide Formulation and Delivery Systems: Innovating Legacy Products for New Uses on November 1–3, 2011 in Tampa FL; STP 1558, M. Bernards, Editor, pp. 1–14, doi: 101520/STP155820120184, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA 2013.
Source: Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc.