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Study Shows Bacterial Contamination Associated With Home-Laundered Surgical Scrubs Is Significantly Greater Than Other Options
Date:1/8/2010

NORCROSS, Ga., Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- 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,"
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SOURCE Molnlycke Health Care US, LLC
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