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VCU study suggests antimicrobial scrubs may reduce bacteria
Date:1/19/2012

RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 19, 2012) The use of antimicrobial impregnated scrubs combined with good hand hygiene is effective in reducing the burden of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) on healthcare workers' apparel and may potentially play a role in decreasing the risk of MRSA transmission to patients, according to a new study from Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

Previous findings have shown that hospital textiles may contribute to the transmission of pathogens through indirect contact via the hands of hospital staff and that antimicrobial textiles may reduce the bioburden, or the number of bacteria living on a surface before sterilization in clinical settings.

Led by Gonzalo Bearman, M.D.,M.P.H., associate professor of internal medicine in the VCU School of Medicine and associate hospital epidemiologist at the VCU Medical Center, the study "A Crossover Trial of Antimicrobial Scrubs to Reduce Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus Burden on Healthcare Worker Apparel," is currently available online and will appear in the March issue of the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the official publication of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

"We strive to study infection prevention interventions that are simple yet effective for the reduction of healthcare associated infections," said Bearman. "The goal is to affect change or implement risk reduction by methods that are both easily implemented and sustained."

In the study, 32 healthcare workers wore four pairs of identically appearing control scrubs and study scrubs impregnated with an antimicrobial, or germ-killing, compound over the course of four months, washing them regularly. Participants also received identical hand hygiene educational sessions every four weeks, and researchers assessed compliance with hand hygiene practices.

Researchers conducted once weekly, unannounced, garment a
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Contact: Malorie Burkett
mgburkett@vcu.edu
804-827-0889
Virginia Commonwealth University
Source:Eurekalert

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