What began as a product development project to create a sheet that would help menopausal women with hot flashes sleep better at night has instead turned into sheets that help prevent bedsores.
Precision Fabrics was testing a new synthetic silk fabric it had developed to wick away moisture and heat from hot flashes when a corporate manager’s sister developed several bedsores following cancer treatment. The manager called on the company’s health products team to advance the bed sheet technology it was working on to remedy the problem of bedsores.
Precision Fabrics partnered with Standard Textile, a manufacturer of hospital linens, to test the DermaTherapy sheet. Eleven clinical trials were conducted at several hospitals and the results were promising: bedsores were reduced by 65% to 85%. In June 2016, the FDA approved DermaTherapy as a medical device.
During the trials, the company discovered that bedsores are not caused by pressure as previously thought, but instead by moisture, friction and shear of the bed linen’s interaction with skin. Pure cotton fibers break down with use and become abrasive. When the synthetic silk sheets were used, the fabric helped to manage the friction and moisture. The DermaTherapy sheets have carbon channels and antimicrobial elements that reduce static and odor as well as a treatment to repel stains.
The company said that the DermaTherapy sheets have also reduced the overall infection rates in the clinical trial hospitals from MRSA, E. coli, C.diff and other “super bugs.”
Currently, DermaTherapy is sold online direct to consumers and the company hopes to begin supplying hospitals and long-term care facilities now that it has FDA approval.
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