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Medical clothing: safeguarding health and well-being
published in Issue 28, 1st Quarter 2009
Medical clothing plays a major role in human well-being by protecting individuals against infection, by monitoring physiological signs and by promoting health.
The protective properties of medical clothing are gaining new-found interest among health care workers and public health officials as a result of the increasing incidence of infections contracted in hospitals and the sporadic outbreak of deadly viruses among the general public. The most recent example of such an outbreak is that of the H1N1 virus—popularly known as Mexican swine flu—which manifested itself in April 2009. Preventing such outbreaks also has a financial dimension, given that the costs of treating infections and viruses are soaring.
One technology which should help to stem the increase in health care costs is that of clothing with healing properties. Also wearable textile-based health monitoring systems should save health care costs by enabling individuals to manage their own health.
In the meantime, new fabric technologies have paved the way for the development of medical clothing which satisfies a need for comfort as well as protection. Indeed, many garments worn by the medical profession are now enhanced with comfort and performance features which are more commonly associated with high-tech sportswear and athletic apparel.
Table of Contents
Medical clothing: safeguarding health and well-being
Medical protective clothing
Development of medical protective clothing
The role of medical protective clothing in the reduction or elimination of contamination (asepsis)
Garments and accessories worn by health care workers
Essential properties of medical protective clothing
Fabrics used in medical protective clothing
Regulation and testing of medical protective clothing
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