ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc., which develops and markets VESTEX® Active Barrier1 fabric healthcare uniforms, lab coats and patient garments, today announced that the protective properties of VESTEX will be discussed in two scientific presentations at the upcoming Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) 2017 National Forum on Quality Improvement in Health Care conference being held December 10-13 in Orlando, FL. The presentations describe the results of studies conducted by independent laboratories that analyze key protective properties of VESTEX healthcare garments. The studies show that VESTEX effectively repels fluids and reduces the bioburden of certain tested multi-drug resistant microorganisms on the fabric by more than 99% compared to conventional medical scrubs.
Healthcare workers routinely experience unanticipated exposures to potentially hazardous fluids, Including body fluids such as blood or urine, or hazardous drugs such as chemotherapeutics. Most workers currently have little warning of, and limited protection from, these exposures--the International Safety Center's Exposure Prevention Information Network (EPINet®) reports that 52% of these unanticipated exposures occur during care at the patient bedside and 30% involve unprotected skin.
One study being presented at the IHI Forum addresses unanticipated exposures by assessing the fluid repellency effectiveness of conventional healthcare uniforms and VESTEX active barrier uniforms.i Three well-accepted standard AATCCi.i testing methods were conducted on each set of garments by an independent ISO-accredited fabric testing facility using simulated body fluids and hazardous drugs.
The study results show that the fluid repellent effectiveness of the VESTEX garments was superior to the conventional healthcare uniforms for all test and simulated fluids. The conventional uniforms failed to repel the fluids in all three tests and were deemed non-protective, while the VESTEX garments successfully repelled all the tested fluids. While VESTEX is not intended to replace PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) when fluid exposures are anticipated; based on these findings, the authors recommend that healthcare professionals should evaluate replacing traditional scrubs with active barrier garments such as VESTEX as an additional way to minimize their everyday risks from unanticipated fluid exposures.i.ii
Healthcare workers are also routinely at risk of exposure to microorganisms capable of transmitting disease. Current worker uniforms have been shown to rapidly acquire and retain microorganisms during the work shift.ii These microorganisms may pose risks to workers, patients and their communities. The second study was designed to assess the effectiveness and durability of VESTEX active barrier garments compared to conventional healthcare worker uniforms in reducing the bioburden of certain tested multi-drug resistant microorganisms on the garment.iii
Scientists at an IAC-certified antimicrobial testing laboratory used the Splatter Fabric Challenge (SFC) assay to test the antimicrobial efficacy of VESTEX and conventional healthcare worker uniforms against common healthcare-related microorganisms, including the gram-positive bacteria Enterococcus faecium (VRE) and the gram-negative bacteria carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (KPC) and Acinetobacter baumannii. The SFC test has been shown to accurately simulate worst case, real-world microbial transmission mechanisms encountered with textiles during normal use in healthcare environments. Antimicrobial effectiveness was tested at 0, 15, 30 and 60-minute time intervals in new garments and after 30 and 50 wash/dry cycles.
This study results show that VESTEX garments were much more effective than conventional uniforms at reducing the bioburden of the three multi-drug resistant organisms on the fabric. VESTEX demonstrated rapid bioburden reductions of greater than 99% on the garments at all four intervals compared to conventional uniforms. The effect was also durable--there was minimal loss of antimicrobial efficacy after multiple wash/dry cycles.
These data are consistent with previous laboratory and clinical studies conducted on the bioburden reduction efficacy of VESTEX fabrics for multi-drug resistant organisms. They strongly correlate with the findings of the controlled, blinded MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) clinical trial conducted by Bearman et al and an in vitro study by Hardwick et al using VESTEX fabric2,3. The authors of the new study conclude that VESTEX is more effective than conventional uniforms at reducing the bioburden of the tested microorganisms on the fabric and could reduce the overall bioburden of healthcare worker garments.4
"These new studies conducted by respected independent laboratories provide additional scientific evidence that our VESTEX Active Barrier garments can help protect workers and patients from unanticipated exposures to the potentially dangerous fluids and microorganisms that are common in healthcare settings," said Ben Favret, founder and President of Vestagen. "The findings align well with previous studies of the protective qualities of VESTEX and reinforce why VESTEX was recently awarded the coveted Innovative Technology designation from Vizient, the largest member-driven healthcare performance improvement company in the US. We are proud that these results are being presented at the 2017 IHI Quality Improvement Forum, one of the premiere venues for promoting quality and safety advances in the healthcare sector."
VESTEX Active Barrier fabric is a unique combination of technologies used to produce comfortable, continuous-wear 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. 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. VESTEX contains an EPA-registered antimicrobial agent4 and has been shown in controlled conditions in laboratory and hospital settings to inhibit the growth of certain bacteria on the fabric.2,3 VESTEX has earned an exclusive endorsement from the American Hospital Association.
i - What You Wear Matters: Assessing the Fluid Repellency of Healthcare Worker Attire to Simulated Body Fluid and Hazardous Drug Exposures in the Age of High-Reliability Healthcare, Taylor Wood, M.S. University of Central Florida, Ben Favret, Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc., IHI National Forum, Dec 12, 2017. This study was conducted with financial support from Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc.
i.i – AATCC = American Association of Textile Colorists and Chemists
i.ii- The authors also noted that VESTEX did not meet the standard for personal protective equipment (PPE) in
one of the three AATCC tests. VESTEX is designed to help protect healthcare workers from unanticipated fluid
exposures during everyday use, not as a replacement for specialized PPE attire.
ii – See international Safety Center, A Consensus Statement and Call to Action, March, 2017, p. 4.
iii - Reducing Multi-Drug Resistant Pathogens on Healthcare Staff Attire, Mathew Hardwick, PhD., Margret Cotton, Resinnova Laboratories, IHI National Forum, Dec 12, 2017. This study was conducted with financial support from Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc.
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 - 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.
3 - Hardwick, Matthew, Walsh, Thomas, and Cotton, Margaret, "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.
4 - VESTEX garments do not protect users or others against disease-causing bacteria. Always clean the garment thoroughly after each use.
About Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc.
Vestagen develops advanced performance textile products and technologies including VESTEX®, which represents a new class of Active Barrier protective fabrics combining antimicrobial, liquid repellent and breathability properties. VESTEX fabric is designed to protect the uniforms and apparel healthcare workers and their patients wear. For more information, visit vestagen.com.
Marc Lessem Barbara Lindheim
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SOURCE Vestagen Protective Technologies, Inc.