Sage 2% CHG cloths are supported by a 2006 clinical study that
showed a 65% reduction of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)
infections compared to a non-medicated wipe.
There is much to expect in terms of future development
for this segment. Medical cloths are well positioned for
further advancement with new and novel developments
in fiber technology. For example, the source of resin for
the base material, the morphology, the geometry—
including size and shape of the fibers—are all critical
components that can be used to differentiate products
and the active delivery of various topical skin treatment
and preventative formulations.
FDA approvals will be required to achieve appropriate
and relevant medical claims. Organizations and manufacturers are correspondingly researching and developing ways to convert recycled fibers into materials for
wipes. The Poole Company, Greenville, SC, for example,
reports that recycled fibers produce an equivalent wipe
product and receive the exact same levels of testing and
approvals as virgin fibers, yet they are environmentally
friendly and sustainable.
Packaging is a critical feature for medical wipes.
While it must be economical, packaging has to be strong
and provide superior protection—allowing ease of use—
yet also maintain the integrity of any remaining product.
In addition, packaging also needs to provide a clear, distinct differentiation on use/purpose of a product. “Skin
cleansing cloths and surface disinfection wipes should
be packaged in such a way as to easily differentiate the
two products,” notes Lovejoy. “Situations have been
reported where people mistakenly use a surface wipe to
cleanse a patient after incontinence. This can lead to
severe skin damage and much irritation.”
Many packaging formats are currently used, including:
plastic tubs in an array of sizes and shapes—with reach-in, re-sealable or pop-up lids; round or oval cylinders;
refill packages in different configurations; packages with
hard seal or re-sealable labels; a variety of plastic caps;
and travel, “one at a time” packs—sometimes foil or
Customized medical wipes are very popular and there
are many private brand manufacturers in this space.
Such wipes are specially designed to meet defined market segments.
In early 2011, bathing wipes (warmed in
microwave/cabinet) amounted to $53.5 million for
basin-less bathing wash kits3. Flushing issues with
basin-less bathing continue to be a major challenge.
Meanwhile, all-purpose personal wipes represented a
market value of $158 million.
CHG wipes sales amounted to about $19 million.
Sage 2% CHG cloths are the only pre-operative skin
preparation cloths on the market. The clinical effectiveness of the Sage 2% CHG cloth product is supported by
publications outlining results of a clinical study in 2006
by Weinstein et al., showing a 65% reduction of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections when this
CHG wipe is used compared to a non-medicated wipe4.
This influential clinical study is still cited actively by
infection control practitioners (ICPs) and clinicians.
A study in the intensive care unit by Kassakian et al.
produced similar results5. In addition, replacing traditional ways of bathing and cleansing patients are advantageous to minimize potential infections. It has been
demonstrated that the washbasin is a patient safety risk,
as a reservoir for contamination. Two recent published
studies show a link between use of basins and multi-drug
resistant organisms (MDROs) and catheter-associated
urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) 6, 7. The more remote possibility of water supply contamination in hospitals must
also be considered.
Market penetration for wipe solutions associated with
patient care, such as hand and body wipes, including
those for bathroom hygiene and general purpose
bathing, will continue to see increases. General bathing
wipes are also undergoing increased acceptance for
individuals who find themselves bedridden or experience
difficulty entering and exiting a bathtub; furthermore,
eliminating the need to use basin fixtures provides a way
to minimize infection transmission.