What Makes Scrubs Antimicrobial?


 Surgery team in the operating room in Tulsa Researchers have known for years the importance of sterilizing medical equipment and washing hands. Studies showed that hospital textiles were likely contributors to the transmission of pathogens, but for decades, there was little to be done to fix the problem.

At Raley Scrubs, we know patients need healthcare workers, despite the fact that workers' uniforms could contribute to hospital infections. The germy uniforms, worn for an 8-hour or longer work day, can be easily contaminated, and an easy source of mobility for bacteria.Recently, however, researchers have found a way to combat that challenge, thanks to the creation of fabrics designed to prevent contamination.Today, scrubs crafted with antimicrobial fabrics are preventing the spread of the bacteria that causes Staph, Salmonella, E. Coli, and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in hospitals.

Raley Scrubs carries antimicrobial scrubs so Tulsa healthcare providers can be confident in the care they're providing to patients.

How Do These Life-Saving Fabrics Work?

Different scrub manufacturers use different means of creating antimicrobial scrubs. Manufacturers use an active antibacterial agent and embed the agents into fabric fibers. These agents bond permanently to the fibers, creating a bacteria-killing fabric.Some agents target bacteria specifically, while others target bacterial proteins. Still others attach to bacteria DNA, which makes it impossible for the bacteria to replicate. When bacteria make contact with the antimicrobial fabrics, their ability to reproduce is disrupted. As an added bonus, this technology also prevents armpit stains or collar rings that form on fabrics over time, but preventing the bacteria that causes those stains to grow. Different scrub manufacturers choose different active agents in the creation of their antimicrobial scrubs. Some scrub makers choose to use more than one active antibacterial agent in fabrics.

Many scrub manufacturers also use fluid resistant technologies in their scrub textiles. This line of defense prevents fluid and other materials from sticking to the fabric. In other words, bacteria-rich fluids slide right off of the fabric. Most manufacturers use the same component that is active in anti-dandruff shampoos – zinc pyrithione. The agent works by eliminating clusters of proteins that fungi require to grow and spread.

Little girl and nurse in Tulsa

Do Antimicrobial Scrubs Work?

At least one study suggests that yes, these technologically-advanced scrubs are an effective method for preventing or limiting the spread of MRSA, a sometimes deadly flesh-eating bacteria.

Scientists call it a Superbug, because it is resistant to antibiotics. Unfortunately, hospitals are the most common source of MRSA infections, and researchers believe the likely catalyst of the spread in hospitals is through healthcare providers themselves.

The good news is researchers believe MRSA is largely preventable, and antimicrobial scrubs are one line of defense. A 2012 Virginia Commonwealth University study revealed that antimicrobial textiles may reduce the number of bacteria living on a surface.

Over the course of four months, researchers studied 32 healthcare workers who wore antimicrobial and non-antimicrobial scrubs. Researchers randomly took cultures of these garments once per week, and learned that the antimicrobial scrubs reduced the amount of MRSA on the providers' clothing.

At Raley Scrubs, we believe antimicrobial scrubs are a win-win for Tulsa healthcare providers and their patients. Check out our scrubs today!