Study Shows Bacterial Contamination Associated With Home-Laundered Surgical Scrubs Is Significantly Greater Than Other Options
NORCROSS, Ga., Jan. 8 -- A study comparing the aerobic bacterial bioburden associated with surgical scrub attire shows significantly greater contamination among home-laundered attire than scrubs laundered by the healthcare facility, scrubs sent out by the facility to a third-party company for laundering, or single-use/disposable scrubs. In fact, home-laundered scrubs cleaned and ready to wear had as much bacteria present as facility-laundered, third-party laundered and single-use scrubs which had been worn for one day.
Conducted in the spring of 2009, the study was performed by Bioscience Laboratories, Inc., of Bozeman, Mont., and sponsored by Molnlycke Health Care US, LLC. A total of 80 surgical scrub garments, tops and bottoms, prior to use and after use in the operating room for a day, were collected from multiple healthcare facilities across the U.S. They comprised 10 sets of scrubs in each category: single-use; home-laundered; facility-laundered; and third-party laundered.
The study showed no statistically significant difference in bacterial contamination among facility-laundered, third-party laundered or single-use scrubs prior to use ("clean"), but revealed that the bioburden found on home-laundered scrubs prior to use ("clean") was significantly greater than on any of the other garments (facility-laundered, third-party laundered or single-use, non-woven) that had been worn for a day in the operating room.
"According to these results, a healthcare professional beginning his or her shift in home-laundered scrubs would essentially be wearing scrubs with the same quantity of bacteria as the scrubs of a healthcare professional finishing a shift in worn scrubs," said Heather Beitz, BA MEd, Director of Clinical Research for Molnlycke Health Care.
"This study indicates that home-laundering is not as effective as facility- or third-party laundering in decontaminating surgical scrub attire," Beitz explained. "Another option, of course, is single-use surgical attire. In addition to eliminating cross-contamination concerns as indicated in this study, single-use scrubs are durable and designed for daily use in a variety of surgical procedures and acute care needs and can reduce replacement costs," she added.
BARRIER® surgical scrub suits and jackets, manufactured by Molnlycke Health Care, are non-woven, single-use products that provide comfort with the soft feel of cotton. They are available in extended size ranges (S – 4XL), assuring a variety of fits. Departments benefiting from the use of BARRIER non-woven scrubs and jackets are trauma, isolation, ER, NICU (for parents), L&D (for fathers), cath and GI labs, oncology, and radiology/interventional radiology.
About Molnlycke Health Care US, LLC
Molnlycke Health Care US, LLC, consists of two divisions – Surgical and Wound Care. Focusing on prevention of surgically-related infections for both patients and healthcare workers, the Surgical Division (formerly Regent Medical Americas, LLC) encompasses the world's leading manufacturer and supplier of powder-free surgical gloves (Biogel® surgical gloves); the number one supplier (by value) of skin cleanser (Hibiclens® and Hibistat® antiseptics); and BARRIER® protective clothing. A leader in trauma and pain management, the Wound Care Division's market dynamics are driven by an aging population, higher incidence of pressure ulcers and increased home treatment.
SOURCE Molnlycke Health Care US, LLC