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Baptist Health First In The World To Adopt Fluid Resistant Uniforms

Baptist Health/Vestagen
A still from a demonstration of Vestagen's Vestex fabric. The left side of this sample garment, made with traditional fabric, is soaked, while the Vestex on the right is not. See the bottom of this post to watch this test.

As part of efforts to reduce hospital-acquired infections, Baptist Health is about to become the first health system in the world to adopt specialized fluid repellent garments for both staff and patients.The Jacksonville-based network of hospitals has partnered with Vestagen Technical Textiles of Orlando to distribute thousands of staff uniforms, lab coats and scrub jackets that feature the company's antimicrobial, fluid barrier Vestex fabric.

WATCH: Vestagen's state-of-the-art Vextex textile in action

Hospital staff will begin receiving the new garments on July 10. Patients will also receive updated gowns made with the Vestex textile in September.

Credit Baptist Health
One of Baptist Health's new antimicrobial and fluid repellant Vestex uniforms.

"It does help prevent the transmission of organisms which cause infection from person to person, and that's why we're interested in them," said Diane Raines, Baptist Health senior vice president and chief nursing officer.

The system has invested more than $1 million for more than 70,000 staff and patient garments in the initial rollout. Employees will be given the new uniforms at no cost.

According to a release, research on the Vestex uniforms published in the journal Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology showed a nearly complete reduction in the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, commonly known as MRSA, when compared to non-protective uniforms.

"Everyone knows that to reduce germs you wash hands and wipe surfaces between patients, but it's not feasible for staff to change uniforms between every patient," said Vestagen CEO Uncas "Ben" V. Favret III in a release.

"Baptist is including what is worn as an additional evidence-based strategy for reducing environmental contamination," Farvet said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports about one in 25 hospital patients has at least one health care-associated infection and estimates that nearly 100,000 patients die from hospital-acquired infections every year.

WATCH: A demonstration of Vestagen's fluid resistant Vextex fabric

You can follow Patrick Donges on Twitter @patrickhdonges and Melissa Ross @MelissainJax.

Melissa Ross joined WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. During her career as a television and radio news anchor and reporter, Melissa has won four regional Emmys for news and feature reporting.
Patrick Donges served as WJCT's Digital Content Editor from August 2013 - August 2014.