A groundbreaking anti-microbial textile providing protection against the transmission of infection in health care facilities has been launched, according to Hany Salam, Managing Director of Salamtex for Textiles, on 20 January.
This unique textile is the first of its kind in the Middle East, and is being manufactured in Egypt – it will help guard against the spread of infections.
The new product, entitled “Guard Textiles”, integrates silver and metallic silver antibacterial agents that disturbs the cell membrane of any microorganisms that come into contact with it. This mechanism essentially destroys infection-creating microbes.
Infections continue to be a problem for doctors and patients. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least 13% of patients develop new infections during their stay at a health care facility. WHO reports that in Egypt, the rate of newly acquired infection in an intensive care unit (ICU) is 15%.
The silver technology integrated in the fabrics is already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Tests have confirmed that “Guard Textiles” have 99.99% resistance against E coli, VRE, salmonella and MRSA.
Multiple studies have confirmed healthcare apparel, curtains and bed linens are contaminated, and cross-contamination from skin-to-surface occurs.
“Guard Textiles” offers a full range of fabrics infused with silver technology to assist hospitals contain the spread of infection. This includes hospital staff and patient attire, along with curtains and bed linens.
“This technology has the potential to help hospitals reduce the spread of infections. Prevention methods requiring active participation are always difficult due to human nature. Hospital staffs are busy responding to emergencies,” said Abdelkarim Kamel, a medical consultant with Salamtex. “So a passive system that immediately kills bacteria would provide much greater efficacy than changing practices.”
The new textile does not lose its antimicrobial efficacy over time. According to test data, the silver induced technology remains effective after 200 industrial washes in actual hospital laundries.
Salam added that “the technology our textile utilises has the potential to help hospitals reduce not only the spread of infection but also the growing financial burden that these infections place on patients, their families and the state”.
The idea is that the use of antimicrobial fabric will reduce the overall health care cost by reducing cross infection. In Egypt, cross infection cases, which occurs in roughly 15% of hospital patients, is responsible for keeping patients sick and under hospital care for an additional week. The state or patient is responsible for that cost; a financial burden that Salam argues can be avoided with the proper fabric.
“There isn’t a doctor or hospital administrator out there who isn’t interested in reducing medical accidents,” added Kamel. “Our job is to keep patients safe when they’re in our care. What’s important here is another step, another practical way to control infection that can be easily adopted by hospitals and medical staff everywhere.”