VESTEX’s fluid barrier technology creates a special structured surface that binds to individual fibers, resulting in a fabric that is breathable, comfortable and repellent to body fluids, water, oil, dirt and dust to minimize the associated risks with unanticipated fluid exposures during routine use as a general purpose attire. VESTEX’s antimicrobial technology is based on a proprietary agent that has never been associated with microbial adaptation or resistance in more than 25 years of use.
While most every medical device has evolved, healthcare worker uniforms are essentially the same as they were a century ago. Even the caring hands of the healthcare worker are properly washed or sanitized with relatively new technology because they come in frequent contact with patients and family members. The healthcare worker uniform is as mobile as the healthcare worker’s hands when it comes to patient to patient contact – so why rely on century old uniform technology? You don’t have to anymore!
Real-world, hospital wear experience and evaluation of the VESTEX product was published in a peer-reviewed journal2. In a prospective, crossover trial (Bearman) in which users alternated weekly between VESTEX fabric and standard fabric garments, 2,000 microbiological samples were evaluated from the apparel of 32 healthcare workers (HCWs) in an intensive care unit (ICU) comparing the VESTEX scrubs to the control scrubs over a 16-week period. Cultures were obtained weekly from the high touch areas (the abdominal and the leg cargo pocket) known from prior testing to be most highly contaminated areas of the scrubs, as well as from the HCW’s hands. The VESTEX scrubs demonstrated a statistically significant overall 4 to 7 mean log reduction of MRSA in the leg cargo and abdominal area pocket when compared to the control scrubs, in an actual hospital ICU setting. The study did not assess the impact of antimicrobial scrubs on hospital-acquired infection rates. The authors noted that the findings are difficult to generalize beyond the ICU environment and study population, and also note that the fabric was not tested to establish the ability of the apparel to reduce disease transmission. They concluded, however, that garments that contain demonstrated antimicrobial and fluid repellent characteristics, “when bundled with known infection prevention strategies such as hand hygiene, may limit the bacterial burden of the inanimate environment” and “may be a useful adjunct to other infection prevention measures.”
The performance of the VESTEX Active Barrier fabric was further demonstrated directly with peer-reviewed published in vitro data showing statistically significant reduction of levels of MRSA on the fabric compared to control fabrics3. The results of these in vitro assays strongly correlate with the real-world conditions examined by Bearman. The fabric challenge assays involved modes of inoculation that mimic “real world” exposures that textiles might face in the healthcare environment, but with established quantities of known challenge organisms. These in vitro studies, showed consistent and reproducible reductions of MRSA challenge microorganisms on the VESTEX fabric under the conditions of the test. Although more study is needed, the authors of the in vitro study conclude that Bearman’s findings in the clinical setting of an intensive care unit validate their findings.