Vestagen Technical Textiles has introduced the first of a new class of Nanotechnology-Based Healthcare Specialty Textiles. The Orlando based company will provide apparel and textile products for use in environments where biological contamination of clothing can occur. Vestex, designed exclusively for the healthcare market, made its debut at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's 2009 National Forum.
Vestagen holds exclusive North American license to three patented Swiss technologies. For the first time, these technologies have been blended to create a unique combination that can be applied to any single layer of fabric. Vestex personal and professional wear repels fluids; has documented and registered antimicrobial properties impregnated in the clothing to resist contamination; rapidly kills microbes; is highly durable; minimizes odor and is naturally self cleaning.
"Infections are becoming more widespread in our society, and nowhere is that more evident than in our nation's hospitals," said Richard P. Wenzel, M.D., professor and former chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center. "This innovative nanotechnology-based textile may prove to be an important component in a hospital's infection control efforts."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), health care associated infections (HAIs) affect two million patients and claim nearly 100,000 lives each year. With a per-patient cost of $15,000, these dangerous and preventable infections add approximately $30 billion annually to our nation's health care tab.
"There is a clear and urgent need for our technology in America's hospitals," said Ben Favret, founder and CEO of Vestagen. "It is well documented that medical textiles can become contaminated with dangerous pathogens, including the bacterium Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)."
In recent months, the issue of HAIs has come to the forefront of the health care debate. In October, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services announced the award of $17 million to fund projects to fight HAIs. The CDC and other government agencies have also called for more resources to focus on reducing and eliminating infections, one of the most common complications of hospital care. Simultaneously, the American Medical Association is debating the future of doctors' white coats, which have been criticized for unwittingly spreading infectious bacteria to patients.
"Vestagen is committed to providing advanced, antimicrobial, nanotechnology-based healthcare specialty textile products for our nation's health care workers," said Favret. "We intend for Vestex, which combines protection, quality and comfort with traditional, identifiable styles of medical wear, to set a new technical standard for health care worker uniforms."
The first line of Vestex apparel will include scrub pants and tops in a variety of colors, long sleeved T-shirts and lab coats. They will be available in limited quantities this fall with a national roll-out in spring 2010.