Healthcare News & Insights

MRSA-reducing fabric slashes transmission rates

Even when health care workers are diligent about hand-washing, germs can hitch a ride between patients on their clothes. New fabrics may help reduce the problem. A number of companies are working on anti-microbial fabrics that aim to reduce the transmission of germs, in particular, deadly superbugs, from patient to patient on hospital workers’ uniforms, lab coats and clothes. But as with any new technology or device, they have to be proven both effective and safe before they can be used widely.

The American Society of Testing and Materials 32nd Symposium on Pesticide Formulation and Delivery: Innovating Legacy Products for New Uses invited a team from MedStar Health Research Institute to do a presentation on new test methods to evaluate how well those fabrics work.

The team focused on replicating real-world means of transmission within a health care setting. The three most common being splatter from substances such as urine or blood; airborne, such as from a cough or sneeze; and direct contact with infected persons or environmental surfaces.

According to the researchers, the test fabric reduced MRSA by 99% in aerosol transmissions, 99.9% for direct contact and 99.9% for splatter conditions. The control fabric didn’t have any significant reduction in transmission.



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