Zebra combats superbug with anti-bacterial patient wristbands

~ new anti-microbial coating will help prevent infection and increase patient safety ~

Zebra Technologies Corporation, the global provider of on-demand printing solutions, has launched a new patent-pending anti-microbial coating for patient identification wristbands. Results from independent tests conducted by a leading testing centre have shown that the new coating, available exclusively from Zebra, eliminates the three leading causes of hospital infections: on-contact staphylococcus aureus, pseudomonas aeruginosa and escherichia coli bacteria.
Its estimated that there are approximately 300,000 cases of hospital-acquired infection in the UK each year affecting nine per cent of patients, causing around 5,000 deaths and costing the National Health Service as much as one billion. In addition, up to 100,000 unwitting carriers of MRSA enter UK hospitals a year potentially putting other patients at risk. By incorporating patient identification wristbands with an anti-microbial coating, hospitals will be able to reduce the spread of these dangerous and costly infections and promote safer, more effective patient care. Not only is common bacteria killed but the unique patient identification provided by the wristbands enables staff to more easily monitor their movement around the hospital and, if necessary, contain those with MRSA or C.Diff to reduce the likelihood of them spreading.
Zebras patient identification wristbands already include a topcoat layer that resists elements such as alcohol, foams, soaps, blood and water in order to ensure the bar code remains scannable, said Aileen McHugh, healthcare manager at Zebra Technologies. According to our research amongst healthcare professionals into patient safety initiatives, lowering nosocomial infection rates was a top priority. Adding an anti-microbial coating that kills common bacteria is a convenient and cost effective way to further improve patient safety and reduce the spread of infections throughout the hospital.

Theres no doubt that hospitals are coming under increasing pressure to proactively tackle superbugs, said Rod Rodericks, managing director for Zebra Technologies in EMEA. High-profile media coverage and intense lobbying from patient pressure groups combined with fierce campaigning from the opposition have pushed the issue to the forefront of the public consciousness. We hope that innovations such as this coating will help hospitals meet the target of cutting the number of MRSA cases in half within the next two years.

The new coating will be added to the Z-Band Direct and Z-Band QuickClip wristbands produced with its direct thermal bar code printers.

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