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New surgical towel reduces operating room lint contamination

January 9, 2013

EssentiA towels are replacing traditional cotton surgical towels in hospitals across the U.S.

Hospitals looking to reduce the risk of post-operative complications are turning to a new type of surgical towel touted to reduce the visible and non-visible lint present in an operating room by as much as 99%, compared to conventional woven cotton towels.

The EssentiA towel, manufactured by Precision Fabrics Group (PFG) in Greensboro, NC, is made from an innovative nonwoven fabric that does not generate the amount of lint or the loose fibers associated with cotton fabric. EssentiA does, meanwhile, have absorbency and drapability characteristics that are equal or superior to those of cotton says the company.

“Hospitals are focused on reducing healthcare associated infections, or HAIs,” says Barbara Lawless, business director for medical fabrics at PFG. “At the same time, medical researchers and industry associations have established that lint contamination can increase the risk of post-surgical infection. So EssentiA towels are addressing an important issue for healthcare providers.”

Lawless says in late 2012, PFG introduced its third generation of low lint surgical towels, known as the EssentiA Universal Surgical Towel. “This is our most advanced fabric yet, in terms of its texture, absorbency speed and efficiency,” she says. “It absorbs 20% more than a cotton towel, and at a faster rate. In addition, the Universal towel is less than half the weight of the cotton towel, at the same size.”

EssentiA towels are available through major U.S. kit suppliers in custom kits, sterile put-up packs, as well as non-sterile for cleaning surgical instruments, Lawless says.

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