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Email: info@clinicalfabricsolutions.co.uk | Call: +44 (0) 1746 330730

HEALTH & CARE

Improved infection control and real cost savings

Uniforms and linen from Clinical Fabric Solutions all incorporate BioShield yarns that provide you with an effective control point for the reduction of harmful microbes in the workplace.

Research on Domestic Laundering of Nurses Uniforms

The Infectious Diseases Research Group led by Dr Katie Laird at De Montfort University has carried out extensive research into the survival of bacteria on textiles pre and post domestic laundering. It has shown that a temperature of 65°C must be maintained for at least 10 minutes (as per Department of Health (DoH) workwear guidelines) in order to remove all bacterial contamination and prevent cross contamination to other textiles in the wash, for the destruction of spores even higher temperatures up to 90°C are required. This is particularly significant in the UK where nurses uniforms are domestically washed, however, any vulnerable people including the young, elderly and those with suppressed immune systems are at risk thus making this a European wide issue.

Consultation with industry on domestic washing machines has highlighted the following issues that consumers are faced with when washing contaminated linen:

  • washing machines that do not actually reach 65°C and maintain this temperature for a minimum period
  • Rapid and eco washes that consumers believe have been set to 60°C, are pre-set to a lower temperature which is not clear to the consumer.
  • Older washing machines no longer reach temperature indicated on the dial.

Health

There are numerous issues associated with the use of standard and anti-microbial fabrics in health and care settings. Clinical Fabric Solutions provides reduced infections risks at no extra cost to your organisation:

Issues What this means Advantages offered by BioShield
Untreated fabrics need washing at high temperatures Contaminated linen is generated by hospitals, care homes, nursing homes and similar facilities, as well as in the home care setting Health & Safety Executive (HSE) requirements for hygienic washing of these items 3 mins at 71°C or 10 mins at 65°C. BioShield can be washed at 30°C and still achieve an effective kill. Because it continues to kill microbes when dry, any bugs not killed in the washing machine will die on the hanger.
Uniforms for carers, nurses, cleaners, catering staff etc are all washed at home where no control is possible Research has shown that there is poor compliance with HSE guidelines for home washing where most are washed at 40°C meaning that uniforms remain contaminated. Because the recommended cleaning temperature is 30-40°C, there is no issue with compliance. The self-sanitising properties of the fabric mean that washing will be done to remove soiling only.
Domestic washing machines typically do not reach required temperatures Settings on domestic machines are typically 20, 30, 40, 60 & 90 °C. The most common setting used is 40°C. running costs increase by more than half if you wash at 60°C as opposed to 40°C and this still doesn’t reach the required 65°C for an effective kill. There will be significant cost savings for those staff washing at home as they reduce the temperature of their washes to 30-40°C. This is possible with improved hygiene levels being achieved.
Cross contamination at home Typically, uniforms are washed at home in mixed loads at low temperatures – this leads to cross contamination between garments ie uniforms can be contaminated further during the washing cycle. Any cross-contamination from other clothing items washed alongside BioShield products will be eliminated over the next few hours – i.e. what is picked up in the machine dies on the hanger.
Treated fabrics are expensive There are a lot of silver, zinc and copper treated fabrics available on the market already. There has been no universal adoption of these primarily due to cost issues. In the US a typical treated scrub tunic is around 50% more expensive than its untreated equivalent. Because BioShield is incorporated into the base level polymer, very small quantities are required. This means that Clinical Fabric Solutions is able to offer treated fabrics at the same price as untreated fabrics.
Treated fabrics are often unstable The chemical coatings applied to treated fabrics are not stable and wash out over time. This causes the efficacy of the anti-microbial coating to reduce over time. The chemicals are also washed into the watercourse and this is raising significant environmental concerns. The silver particles incorporated into the polymers are 10 microns in size. This means that they cannot break free from the yarn ie they are permanently integrated. The self-sanitising properties are as effective at the end of the garments life as they were when it was new.
Treated fabrics don’t work when dry Typically, treated fabrics have chemical coatings of silver salts which only ionize when wet. This means that in a dry state the coating has limited or no effect. BioShield has pure silver at the heart of its technology – unlike silver salts, pure silver ionizes when dry meaning the self-sanitising properties are working all the time.

Quality Assurance

Robust data and certification can be provided to give you peace of mind that the solution you are putting in place will contribute significantly to your constant aims of improved hygiene and reduced acquired infection rates.

This data will support your certification and accreditation requirements and can be used in reporting and marketing of your services to demonstrate your commitment to improved quality.

Care

WHO'S INVOLVED

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