It’s a pretty tall order to expect something like a surgical gown or a bathing product to prevent the spread of infection. But, with the advent of new technologies and the cost-effectiveness of disposable nonwovens, more hospitals are seeking solutions from manufacturers for infection prevention.
Healthcare-associated (or acquired) infections (HAIs) are the most common complication of patient care. HAIs can be acquired anywhere health care is delivered, including inpatient hospitals, outpatient settings, nursing homes and rehabilitation centers. According to the Home of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, about 1 in 25 patients gets an infection related to hospital care. This makes prevention of HAIs an urgent goal for the healthcare industry and, in turn, the medical nonwovens industry.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a few things that nonwoven manufacturers can assist with in the prevention of HAIs:
- Adequate cleaning and disinfection of equipment and environment. Easily disposable nonwoven medical wipes are a terrific solution for this recommendation, especially when used on spots frequently missed in cleaning efforts like light switches and door knobs.
- Protect primary closure incisions with sterile dressing. Medical nonwovens are a good choice for sterile dressings because they can be manufactured for increased absorbency, packaged in convenient sterile packaging and can be treated with antimicrobial agents to reduce bacterial penetration through the dressing.
- Wear masks. When in a high-infection area, hospital staff are encouraged to wear masks. Nonwoven masks can be manufactured to be soft, lightweight and comfortable in addition to providing increased barrier protection against the spread of dangerous germs.
Prevention of HAI is a critical factor in the medical nonwovens environment. Manufactures continue to improve products like single-use, high performance surgical gowns and drapes designed for both safety and comfort.
HAI prevention is a concerted group effort among healthcare professionals, patients and the suppliers who service them. Converters and manufacturers can work together to design products that maximize barrier protection, the use of antimicrobial agents and cost-effectiveness to prevent dangerous infection and spread of disease.
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