THE NEXT GENERATION OF THERAPEUTIC BEDDING & PATIENT APPAREL
DermaTherapy® is a new development in fabric science which incorporates uniquely structured fibers that results in a cleaner, drier and smoother sleeping surface for patients in hospitals and healthcare institutions.
As the first and only therapeutic bedding on the market, DermaTherapy can help increase comfort, quality of life, prevent adverse effects with wound and skin care, and help decrease potential for hospital readmission. DermaTherapy helps control the microclimate – moisture, friction and shear – between persons’ skin and the support surface. Its moisture wicking properties keep users drier and cooler. It is woven with long, continuous strands that are free of short, protruding fibers or pills that can create friction and cause irritation. This ultimately provides a sleep surface that is non-irritating and less traumatic to patients’ sensitive skin. These ultra-smooth fabrics are also durable and reduce bioburden, bacteria and odors. DermaTherapy brings comfort and cleanliness to the surface your patients spend the most time on: their bed.
Another bedding item used in a hospital is an underpad, which provides a way to absorb bodily fluids while shielding the support surface. DermaTherapy underpads are intended to be positioned between the bottom sheet and top sheet of a bed, so a person in the bed is laying directly on the underpad. The top surface of DermaTherapy underpads is the same material used in DermaTherapy bed linens. Since the underpad is typically in direct contact with the patient, the same microclimate control of moisture, friction and shear is present to minimize skin breakdown. The smooth surface of DermaTherapy underpads also enables easier patient movement and repositioning. Draw sheets, typically used to reposition patients, are not needed when DermaTherapy underpads are in place.
Smooth, silk-like DermaTherapy patient gowns move with the body, thereby reducing friction with the skin. DermaTherapy allows the free flow of air and moisture vapor through the fabric, thereby enhancing patients’ comfort. DermaTherapy gowns also incorporate a durable antimicrobial that inhibits the survival of bacteria on the fabric. Like DermaTherapy bed linens, the patient gowns control the microclimate – moisture, friction and shear – between persons’ skin and the support surface. DermaTherapy gowns are significantly more durable, colorfast, and more stain resistant than incumbent cotton-blend gowns.
CURRENT PRACTICES AND PRODUCTS
In acute care settings, the items patients come into the most intimate contact with are the bed linens (including underpads) and patient gowns. The incumbent products are imported cotton or cotton-polyester textiles made using short staple fibers. Despite the intimacy between these products and patients, they have not been considered as elements of the therapeutic process. Quite to the contrary, they are viewed as “housekeeping” items, the primary objective for which is to minimize their initial purchase prices. Unfortunately, in their current form these products may actually harm some patients. They lower standards of care and increase overall costs for the hospital.
The quality control process related to the use and laundering of patient gowns and bed linens is limited to visual inspection of their appearance (primarily for stains or tears). Even in the highest-tech areas of hospitals, no quality control process exists to reflect the following facts:
The abrasive nature of these textile products in causing friction, abrasion and shear with the skin of patients, particularly when a patient moves or is moved while lying in bed
The inability of these fabrics to address moisture and thereby control the microclimate between the patient’s skin and the bed linens
Loose fibers potentially contaminating open sores or skin wounds of patients
Shed fibers adding contaminates to the ambient air in the hospital
OTHER ATTRIBUTES OF DERMATHERAPY PRODUCTS
DermaTherapy products are environmentally friendly. In comparison with existing hospital bed linens and gowns, they are 37% lighter in weight. They clean easier and are more resistant to stains. They dry more quickly and require less energy to launder. Their service life is dramatically longer: while, on average, incumbent products provide ~50 usages (with shedding of fibers occurring each time a product is used or laundered), DermaTherapy products can be laundered at least 150 times without losing their properties and with virtually no shedding of fibers. DermaTherapy products have the potential to reduce the linens going into the medical waste stream by more than 68%.
DermaTherapy bed linens and gowns efficiently manage the moisture, friction and shear in the microclimate surrounding the patient. They can reduce the bioburden on the fabrics and airborne contaminates, raise standards of care, and improve patient comfort.
References for clinical research involving DermaTherapy:
Prospective, Nonrandomized Controlled Trials to Compare the Effect of a Silk-Like Fabric to Standard Hospital Linens on the Rate of Hospital-acquired Pressure Ulcers. Coladonato J, Smith A, Watson N, Brown AT, McNichol LL, Clegg A, McPhail L, Griffin T, Montgomery TG. J Ostomy Wound Management 2012; 58(10):14-31.
A Retrospective, Nonrandomized, Before-and-After Study of the Effect of Linens Constructed of Synthetic Silk-like Fabric on Pressure Ulcer Incidence. Smith A, McNichol LL, Amos MA, Mueller G, Griffin T, Davis J; McPhail L, Montgomery TG. J Ostomy Wound Management 2013;59(4):28-33.
A Randomized, Controlled Study to Assess the Effect of Silk-like Textiles and High-absorbency Adult Incontinence Briefs on Pressure Ulcer Prevention. Twersky J, Montgomery T, Sloane R, Weiner M, Doyle S, Mathur K, Francis M, Schmader K. J Ostomy Wound Management 2012;58(12):18–24.