Marlux Medical, the leading innovator of 100% recyclable privacy curtains, is partnered with Microban® International to help strengthen infection control strategies in hospitals, by integrating antimicrobial technology into its products. Steve Brewster, Chief Commercial Officer at Marlux Medical, explains the importance of establishing this partnership, especially in a post-pandemic world.
The Company: MARLUX Medical
Marlux Medical, a division of Summit Medical Group, is a market-leading manufacturer of infection control privacy curtains, relying on highly skilled and advanced manufacturing techniques to meet the changing demands in global healthcare. The UK-based company has been committed to innovation, service and quality over the last couple of decades, and has built longstanding relationships and a strong reputation with its customers.
The MARLUX™ brand offers an extensive range of privacy curtains and tracking accessories, including hooks, retaining pins, rods, plates, connectors, brackets, anti-ligature systems and silicone wipes.
The Challenge: Hospital-acquired Infections
Healthcare settings like hospitals have a lot of traffic – patients, visitors and staff – every day, making them prone to the spread and cross-contamination of microbes. Rigorous cleaning protocols are used to sustain sterile conditions, keeping each person safe from hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and, in a post-pandemic world, the need for infection control has never been more critical.
There is a common consensus that high-touch surfaces like bedrails, call buttons and bedside tables can be hot spots for microbes, but one source of infection has previously been overlooked – cubicle curtains. This concern has been backed up by a study in 2012 that found that 92 % of hospital privacy curtains are contaminated with bacteria within less than a week of regular use.1 Similarly, in 1998, an outbreak of multi-drug resistant Acinetobacter baumanii in an intensive care unit in Birmingham, UK, was directly linked to contaminated curtains and dry fabrics.2
The Solution: Confidential Protection
Taking the fight to the front line in 2011, Marlux Medical partnered with Microban to offer the PREVENT + PROTECT collection, an innovative range of privacy curtains with integrated antibacterial silver ion technology. This built-in formulation actively eliminates up to 99.9999 % of bacteria on the surface of the curtain for its usable lifetime.
Steve explained: “With Microban antimicrobial technology built-in, our curtains are actively protected between changes, delivering enhanced cleanliness and added peace of mind for patients, visitors and healthcare professionals, while also playing a significant role in the fight to reduce HAIs. At Marlux Medical, we are also always researching ways to make our products more environmentally friendly, keeping a close eye on how often curtains should be changed and recycled.”
An Invisible Shield Against Microbes
The antibacterial capabilities of silver have been known for centuries, and it was historically used in ancient medicine for applications such as wound dressings. Microban proprietary silver ion technology SilverShield™ actively eliminates the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Steve continued: “The antimicrobial technology can be incorporated into our chosen polypropylene, non-woven material far more easily than woven fabrics, and is carefully balanced with other features, such as fire retardancy, so that quality, safety and material durability are not sacrificed. Building it into the material means that its antimicrobial properties are not diminished by harsh cleaning chemicals, and this solution underpins the existing disinfection routines adopted in healthcare settings.”
The Benefits: Prevent Bacterial Growth, Protect Peace of Mind
- Incorporating Microban antimicrobial additives into disposable privacy curtains has been proven to play a key role in the “statistical destruction of all microorganisms and their spores” up to log kill 6 (99.9999 %), including Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, E.Coli, MRSA, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii.3
- MARLUX curtains are designed to be fire retardant for patient safety, backed up by a rigorous batch testing regime conducted by an accredited company for every 5,000 m of curtain produced.
- Recycling services are available for the curtains as Marlux Medical takes the issue of the environmental impact of disposable consumables very seriously.
- MARLUX customers benefit from the unique Fast-Fit technology that allows privacy curtains to be fitted or removed in less than three minutes, saving valuable nursing time. While this is the popular choice, Universal and Uni-Glide systems are also compatible with a wide range of traditional tracking types.
- Marlux Medical is working closely with policymakers – the Care Quality Commission (CQC), National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and whole infection control departments – to ensure the protection offered by treated curtains is recommended and adopted in each individual department across the whole healthcare sector, not only in the UK but also further afield.
- Ohl, M et al. (2012), Hospital privacy curtains are frequently and rapidly contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria. Am J Infect Control, 40(10), 904-906.
- Das, I et al. (2002), Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter and role of curtains in an outbreak in intensive care units. J Hosp Infect, 50(2), 110-114.
- Marlux Medical. (2021) Keeping the bugs at bay with MARLUX and Microban. [Online] Available from https://www.marluxmedical.com/2021/05/25/keeping-the-bugs-at-bay-with-marlux-and-microban/ [Accessed on 08 June 2021]