Devices & Technology

Manufacturers Keeping Nurses Safe on the Job

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By Christina Orlovsky Page, contributor

March 25, 2012 - Nurses’ number-one priority is the safety of their patients, but in an environment where there are any number of potential workplace dangers--from infections to falls to accidental needle sticks--their own safety also has to be high on the priority list.

Thankfully, many medical product manufacturers are also keenly aware of the risks to their provider clients, leading them to develop a variety of devices and equipment that keep nurses’ safe while working on the frontlines of patient care.

Dressing to protect 

Nurse Safety
Under Scrub, from Silver Lining Textiles, is a new high-tech base layer worn under a health care provider’s scrubs that is designed to kill bacteria that can cause infections.

One new product on the market allows nurses to start protecting themselves the moment they get dressed in the morning. Under Scrub, a new medical technical base layer worn under a health care provider’s scrubs, is designed to kill bacteria that causes infection. Launched this month by Santa Barbara, California-based Silver Lining Textiles LLC, Under Scrub has antibacterial properties and an exclusive “medical fibeRx yarn” that gives the material stretch, moisture wicking, thermal regulating and quick drying properties.

"We've done extensive research and development to create a product with superior efficacy against commonly occurring bacteria encountered in both hospitals and the community,” explained Jason Katsapetses, founder and chief executive officer of Silver Lining Textiles. “Independent test results consistently demonstrate rapid and massive reduction of bacteria within minutes of exposure to our highly technical fabric.”

In fact, Silver Lining Textiles is so pleased with Under Scrub’s performance that they are finalizing development of an entire scrub uniform, hospital bedding and a patient line of attire, Katsapetses said.

Saving face

At Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health, a new educational initiative called “Behind the Mask: Your Complete Guide to Facial Protection” focuses on helping surgical personnel understand guidelines and recommendations for appropriate use of facial masks in the surgical setting. Launched this month, the program was awarded with a Seal of Recognition by the Association of periOperative Nurses (AORN).

“The goal of the ‘Behind the Mask’ education campaign from Cardinal Health is to help surgical personnel understand the applicable regulations, guidelines and recommended practices for the appropriate and effective use of facial protection,” explained Scott Harrison, of Cardinal Health Surgical Products. “Through this campaign, we hope to encourage surgical personnel to think more critically about the facial protection they are wearing, taking into consideration a mask’s fit, fluid resistance, filtration efficiency, and fog reduction,” otherwise known as the four Fs of facial protection.

Cardinal Health’s commitment to facial protection for surgical nurses goes beyond education and into their surgical products, including three lines of products. The newest, the Smart-Seal Surgical Mask, offers top-of-the-line protection.

“The latest addition to our facial protection portfolio, the Smart-Seal Surgical Mask, provides the highest level of fluid-resistant protection, meets the highest levels of filtration efficiency and filters out at least 99.9 percent of bacteria and at least 99 percent of particles 0.1 microns in size or larger,” Harrison explained. “In addition, it features a patent-pending ‘cinch and hug’ single-tie design that creates a custom seal around the wearer’s nose and mouth. The innovative design eliminates gaps between the wearer’s face and the mask, promoting proper use and helping to reduce contamination risks in the perioperative environment. The mask also utilizes a unique, closed-cell foam that is designed to stop fogging better than other masks on the market.”

Showing passion for safety and prevention

Perhaps the key to Cardinal Health’s commitment to the safety of its health care provider consumers is involving the end user in the development of these products.

“Cardinal Health employs a team of nurse consultants that work with our various business units on product development projects,” Harrison concluded. “Many of our product ideas start with our nursing consultants, who have a passion for staff and patient safety.”

© 2012. AMN Healthcare, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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