One of the most common places to find nonwoven textiles is in hospitals or medical offices. Nonwovens have specific characteristics that make them ideal for use in medicine and health care.
Nonwovens are easy to sterilize because they can withstand high temperatures. This makes them ideal for uses such as surgical drapes, bandages or wound packing materials. Since the product is sterile, it helps to reduce the incidence of nosocomial (hospital acquired) infections.
Filters bacteria without reducing airflow
By varying the manufacturing process, manufacturers can create textiles that act as a barrier for bacteria but don’t restrict airflow. This makes them ideal for uses such as nonwoven surgical gowns or facemasks. The doctor or nurse can breathe easily through the mask or wear the gown without overheating, but without passing germs to the patient. The gowns also protect scrubs or street clothes from fluids and they can be readily disposed of so that germs and bacteria stay confined rather than spreading throughout the facility.
The variety of finishes achievable with nonwoven textiles allows manufacturers to create combination products that create a one-way moisture barrier that lets fluid flow through to the absorbent layers below without allowing it to saturate the liner, which remains dry. Many pads often have this type of one-way permeable surface that allows moisture to flow through to the absorbent layers beneath, making the patient feel dryer and more comfortable. Nonwoven fabrics that absorb large amounts of fluids are ideal for lining operating tables, for use as surgical sponges or as mattress protectors in patient’s beds.
Doesn’t stick to wounds
Lint free and very smooth, nonwovens make ideal dressings for wounds because they don’t stick to the wound as it heals and they don’t shed even minute fibers that can lead to infections. Almost everyone has used an adhesive bandage for a small cut, possibly without realizing that nonwoven textiles make up the small center pad. Nonwovens are equally good for larger dressings and bandages because they keep the wound clean and promote faster healing.
Modern medicine relies heavily on nonwoven textiles and the advanced manufacturing processes that make their unique characteristics possible.
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