InvisiArmor® Medical RHP Textile Activator is a patented zinc oxide-based formulation. When combined with 3% hydrogen peroxide (readily available in the community for household use) it creates RHP, a form of hydrogen peroxide that provides lasting antimicrobial action against bacteria, viruses and spore-forming organisms on textiles when applied according to the directions. This lasting effect continues for up to 20 launderings, and is then reapplied in the same manner to continue the effect indefinitely.
In healthcare workplaces, dangerous pathogens are an everyday work hazard. Moreover, uniforms and other high-touch textiles (room curtains, bed linens) can act as fomites; items capable of hosting microorganisms and serving s a reservoir that can contribute to the transmission of dangerous pathogens.
Laundering untreated textiles is not sufficient to stop the creation of fomites, since the antimicrobial effect does not persist significantly after laundering. Even the cleanest uniform has the potential to be re-contaminated during the day as the professional moves from patient to patient, or comes into contact with another contaminated textile or surface.
Other textile treatments exist. Typically, they are applied as part of the manufacturing process, and designed to have a predicted effective antimicrobial life. Once this predicted time or number of launderings is reached, the item is no longer protected. In contrast, Residual Hydrogen Peroxide can be reapplied as many times as needed, for the full useful life of the textiles.
The most recent CDC HAI Update (http://www.cdc.gov/hai/surveillance/progress-report/index.html) documents the need for more and better efforts to reduce infection risks in hospitals. In light of this call to action, it’s clear that if healthcare providers can eliminate a fomite vector such as clothing and high-touch textiles, they can significantly reduce infection risk and the concomitant personal and financial costs. By enabling continual treatment of individual worker’s uniforms and work clothes with Residual Hydrogen Peroxide, a healthcare provider can engage employees in antimicrobial stewardship and elevate the standard of “clean” for textiles in the facility.