Addressing Today’s Healthcare Challenges with the Technologies of the Future

Each day, healthcare workers are challenged with selecting the proper safety solutions to achieve their goals of providing unwavering patient care. What happens when a worker’s glove rips or tears during work in a healthcare facility? How long does it take for a surgeon to double-don gloves in an O.R.? What’s the first thing an ER staff does when responding to a newly arriving patient? By spending time side-by-side with healthcare workers on the job across a range of different industries, Ansell has learned the answers to many questions like these. Through our Worker Experience Innovation (WEI) program, we develop a deeper understanding of workers’ day-to-day experiences and challenges. We then transform these insights into new WEI technologies and product ideas. Through the innovations developed, healthcare workers can vastly improve their performance, provide the best care for patients, and be confident that they are protected.

 There are innovative, yet simple, solutions to many of the most common challenges faced by healthcare workers in today’s ever-changing, complex healthcare environment.

CombattingHazards in the Workplace with State-of-the-Art Technology

Problem: Increase of Type IV Chemical Allergies

Many healthcare facilities have made the transition to latex-free environments, inclusive of their surgical gloves used in the OR space. Many of the non-latex glove options, however, utilize a number of chemical accelerators which can cause the occurrence of Type IV chemical allergies. Chemical allergies to glove products are generally associated with the chemicals used in the glove manufacturing process with the majority of reported glove-associated allergic contact dermatitis attributed to chemical accelerators1. Chemical accelerators are added to accelerate the bonding process and stabilize the glove for long-term storage. Importantly for the wearer, they give gloves elasticity and tensile strength. The occurrence of these allergies can cause symptoms such as dryness of skin, cracking, blisters, and in some cases a burning sensation ─ delivering a problematic experience for healthcare workers. As more facilities proceed to implement their latex-free initiatives, the occurrence of Type IV chemical allergies will continue to rise.

Ansell’s Solution: PI-KARE™Skin-Friendly, non-sensitizing PI Technology

As non-latex polyisoprene (PI) gloves continue to grow in popularity and surgeon preference, Ansell’s R&D has gone beyond the status quo and made our PI gloves safer for our workers. Our proprietary PI KARE™ Technology formulation enables the elimination of standard chemical accelerators known to cause allergic contact dermatitis or low dermatitis potential. Providing the world’s first full range of skin friendly, non-sensitizing PI gloves that are US FDA-510(k) approved. Now O.R. staff can choose PI gloves that are even more durable and ‘stretchier’ with improved comfort, fit and feel to deliver heightened sensitivity and dexterity so they can perform at their best. All while making them safer to use.

Problem: Cross-Contamination in the Operating Room

Many surfaced in the operating room are grossly contaminated during surgery and are extremely difficult to clean. This can result in high risk of cross-contamination and Surgical Site Infections (SSI). Though advances continue to be made in infection control practices, SSIs still account for 20% of all Healthcare-AssociatedInfections (HAIs) and are the costliest HAI type resulting in an added $20,000 per admission2.

Ansell’s Solution: AMT™ Antimicrobial Technology

STAT-BLOC™ disposable O.R. table linens with AMT™ Antimicrobial Technology provide complete protection against bacterial migration to prevent contamination of the linens and help ensure a clean patient surface for every procedure. The impervious, antimicrobial backing is at least 99% effective against MRSA, E. coli, CRE and COVID-193.

Problem: Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs)

In the O.R., spending hours every day wearing gloves can take its toll. Prolonged muscle effort, from performing repetitive tasks and finer hand movements such as suturing and instrument use, could cause muscle strain leading to glove-induced hand fatigue and, over time, may heighten your risk of hand related injuries. Workers who constantly repeat movements can adversely affect their joints may endure Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders caused by pressure on the median nerve that can cause numbness, tingling, shock-like sensations, hand weakness, and clumsiness. The overexertion of repetitive movements and unsupported hand and wrist can detriment a healthcare worker’slong-term career.

Ansell’s Solution: ERGOFORM Technology – hand health longevity

Considering the long-term success and quality of life of healthcare workers, Ansell developed the proprietary ERGOFORM Technology to directly address musculoskeletal health. Ansell’s ERGOFORM Technology enables the design of gloves that help reduce the stress on joints, ligaments, and tendons, by allowing the maximum range of motion. By doing so, optimizing comfort, and minimizing everyday hand muscle strain. With the use of ERGOFORM Technology, users can experience up to a 15% reduced muscle effort when compared to bare hand performance4.

Problem: Donning with Damp Hands

For time-poor surgeons and operating room nurses, every second counts during the preparation of surgery. Often, the simple task of donning a glove can take longer than necessary. While some may experience resistance when donning gloves with dry hands, others struggle when their hands are damp. During an intraoperative change, the need for easy doffing and re-donning is amplified.

Ansell’s Solution: DERMASHEILD Technology

Our donning aid technology, DERMASHIELD, is a patented technology that delivers a dual-tasked coating on the inside of the glove to allow for fast and easy damp or dry hand donning whether it is the first don or during intraoperative changes. It features a hydrophobic surface to minimize surface area friction when donning with dry hands while its hydrophilic lubricant is activated upon contact with a damp hand, allowing hands to effortlessly slide into and out of the glove.

Learn more about the full suite of Ansell WEI Technologies: us/why-ansell/wei-technologies.

1FDA Centre for Devices and Radiological Health. Guidance for Industry and FDA Reviewers/Staff Premarket Notification [510(k)] Submissions for Testing for Skin Sensitization to Chemicals in Natural Rubber Products January 1999

2Center for Disease Control and Prevention. National Healthcare Safety Network. Surgical Site Infection Event (SSI) January 2022

3Data on file with Ansell

4Date on file with Ansell

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