Silver pyjamas prove surprise hospital hit
Early press reports on the anti-microbial effects of the new See-it-Safe range of fabrics from Toray Textiles have created such a high demand that the company has decided to sell pyjamas made from the material direct to the public until manufacturers begin to use it for themselves.
Information leaked to the media revealed that the fabrics have been clinically proven to eliminate 99.99 percent of more than 800 micro organisms - including MRSA and VMRSA -within less than an hour of exposure, and are currently undergoing clinical trials in a London hospital.
This resulted in the company being inundated with calls from nervous patients about to undergo hospital treatment.
Keith Mitchell, managing director of Toray Textiles, said: "A story about pyjamas made with See-it-Safe fabric was leaked to the national press and within hours we received over a hundred calls from people who were desperate to buy them”.
"Until such time as we have arrangements in place with suitable retailers, we will be providing a very basic pyjama design for people who call in. It will be priced at £55, which is about what we think recommended retail prices will be".
As well as its micro organism-killing effect, it is also believed that the material - which contains pure silver yarn - can have a positive effect on some people with skin conditions such as eczema.
Dr Peter Wilson at Newham University Hospital, East London, is doing a clinical trial with 300 pairs of pyjamas made of the material, to see if they can prevent MRSA.
The super bug kills up to 800 people a year in the UK and is resistant to most antibiotics. The trials will be completed in 2007 and interim results are expected by the end of July 2006.
Dr Wilson said: "Silver is known to be a very efficient agent against infection and in aiding recovery, and is already used in procedures such as hip replacements. It is also remarkably safe".
The use of silver to fight germs dates back to Egyptian times and the See-it-Safe cloth is interwoven with threads of pure silver that are activated by moisture and heat from the body.
Keith Mitchell said: "Our pyjamas are an effective aid in protecting against bacterial infections, but we will not know the full extent of the pyjamas' impact on infections such as MRSA until clinical trials are complete”.
"However, if the results are as good as we expect, we envisage use of our bacteria-resistant fabrics to be extended to nurses' uniforms, surgical gowns and hospital curtains and bedding".
See-it-Safe conforms to EU 13795 standards and its anti-bacterial effects are permanent and last as long as the fabric, having been tested to 280 industrial washes.
Toray Textiles are in negotiations with a number of retailers and are expecting its fabrics to be available in pyjamas in stores around the world by the end of this year.
Author: James Wilkinson