The spread of so called “superbugs,” such as methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are a concern to many healthcare professionals. One problem that we touched upon earlier was the question over the wearing of dirty scrubs outside of the hospital and in public places: can superbugs be transmitted by dirty scrubs?

One way to help counter this potential problem is to wear antimicrobial garments (such as these unisex drawstring pants, manufactured by Landau Uniforms).

Landau is one manufacturer of hospital uniforms and apparel that has a reputation for smart, high-quality designs and products. The company has a wide selection of antimicrobial garments in its inventory, to help combat the spread of infectious diseases.

Their scrubs destroy more than 99% of viruses and bacteria. What’s more, their scrubs also defend against the growth of mold, mildew, yeast, and algae.

The technology is effective not through the application of chemicals, but through an innovative physical design. Their mechanical processing produces an array of tiny, microscopic spikes that pierces the cell walls of microbes, eliminating them as a contagious threat.

The fabric design will not wear with use, and can be laundered normally.

This year, Vestagen Technical Textiles launched VESTEX, a “new class of active barrier technology that combines fluid repellent, antimicrobial and breathability properties in one fabric.” The company claims that “it is the only daily use protective fabric proven to reduce harmful contaminants on the fabric in a hospital setting.” It utilizes an antimicrobial called Semeltec to destroy bacteria.

Semeltec, (coined after the “Father of Infection Control” – Ignaz Semmelweis, M.D.), is a quaternary ammonium antimicrobial, the same base as skin sanitizers used through healthcare settings. It is embedded in the fiber on the outside of the garment, not against the skin of the wearer. Semeltec’s effectiveness comes from a germicidal/bactericidal “kill activity” that causes bacterial membranes to leak and die. In fact, it was shown in a clinical study to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on the fabric by 99.99 percent.

As a testament to its effectiveness, Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals Emergency Departments, Flagler Hospital and the University of North Florida (UNF) School of Nursing have all converted to VESTEX.

Preventing the spread of infectious disease is an unending battle for healthcare staff, but the technologies and inventions coming from garment manufacturers are becoming more and more successful. For those looking for better defense from their scrubs, innovations like this are welcome help. Antimicrobial technologies will continue to grow in innovation and strength, and have arrived as an important tool for hospitals that continue to fight the spread of MRSA and other dangerous superbugs.