Leonard Laundry

Battling SuperBugs-Fighting Antibiotic Resistant Germs

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. – The war on bacterial contamination of hospital textiles is being fought at every hospital.  Addressing environmental cleanliness through textiles is a critical health and safety issue since hospital acquired infections (HAIs) are potentially lethal for patients and pose significant financial risks.

According to a Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) report, hospital acquired HAIs kill nearly 200 people in the U.S. every day and affect 1 in 25 hospital patients. These numbers do not include infections acquired at skilled nursing, long-term acute care and outpatient surgery facilities. Published research shows that 60% of hospital staff uniforms were colonized with potentially pathogenic bacteria, including drug-resistant organisms such as the superbugs MRSA and CRE, and a separate published research paper shows 55% of clean bed linens were contaminated before contact with the patient. Contracting MRSA increases a patient’s chance of acquiring a staph infection within the following 12 months. [1]

A Formidable Opponent

A recent peer-reviewed study from Stanford University titled “Reduction in bacterial contamination of hospital textiles by a novel silver based laundry treatment” in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control(AJIC), suggests that hospitals with SilvaClean® on their side can one-up their opponent.

SilvaClean® technology was conceived alongside Cal Poly and developed and commercialized in Silicon Valley by Applied Silver, Inc. This EPA-approved, patented water-based ionic silver treatment inhibits the growth of odor and stain-causing bacteria on textiles by imparting lasting antimicrobial properties to the items each time they are laundered, providing the highest level of protection to laundered healthcare textiles. SilvaClean® protects items in transport, storage and use from bacteria and fungi. These fabric items include multiple key patient and healthcare worker touch points such as patient bedding, gowns, bath towels, worker scrubs and privacy curtains.

The AJIC study compares SilvaClean treated hospital sheets and patient gowns to untreated hospital sheets and patient gowns both before and after patient use. The authors found that treating sheets and gowns with SilvaClean resulted in decreases in microbial contamination before patient use of 88% and 89% respectively. SilvaClean was found to be persistent, reducing total bacterial counts by 30% on sheets and 45% on gowns after patients had used them. Additionally, SilvaClean treatment of the textiles resulted in 100% decreases of Staphylococcus aureus on sheets and gowns before patient use and decreases after patient use of 74% on sheets and 89% gowns.

“SilvaClean is a new standard for enhancing environmental cleanliness through textiles. The technology is capable of reducing 99.9 % of odor- and stain-causing bacteria,” said Dr. J. Trees Ritter, a Medical Director of the Infection Control Programs for five California Central Coast Hospitals and Chairman of the Clinical Affairs Committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

“No previous textile management solution provides the level of cleanliness that SilvaClean delivers to existing textile inventories,” said Sean Morham, CEO of Applied Silver. “We are proud to offer our Central Coast communities this Cal Poly inspired breakthrough technology that is eco-friendly and provides an exceptional bedside experience.”


Hospitals Taking Notice

Recently, Dignity Health Central Coast expanded its partnership with Applied Silver, the maker of SilvaClean, at their Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, French Hospital Medical Center, and Marian Regional Medical Center to incorporate SilvaClean® technology into their award-winning patient bedside experience

“This partnership is a testament of Dignity Health Central Coast’s commitment to the highest level of safe, quality health care services that our employees and physicians provide each and every day,” says Charles J. Cova, Senior Vice President of Operations, Dignity Health. “We have made and continue to make a significant commitment to education and training, and we continue to invest in state-of-the-art technologies that enable our staff and physicians to provide the highest quality of care available.”

California’s largest healthcare facilities laundry service provider, Commercial Laundry Specialist, (CLS) is also now using Applied Silver’s new SilvaClean technology to help Kaiser, Sutter Health, UCSF, and Stanford hospitals eradicate deadly superbugs on the “soft surfaces” that patients and workers are frequently infected by. The technology helps hospitals stay within federal and state infection standards and saves facilities money.

“The data confirms that SilvaClean is a leading technology for hospitals to help rapidly establish the cleanest possible environment and confidently maintain it over time,” said Bill Morris, Co-founder and Director of Efficacy and Chemistry at Applied Silver, the maker of SilvaClean. “A cleaner environment is the essential platform that allows hospitals to meet stringent performance targets and offer the comfortable, low risk bedside experience that patients now expect.”


[1] Donskey, C. (2016, May). Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare settings. Joint session at the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America Conference, Atlanta, GA.