Written by: Julia Travers
Staph, or Staphylococcus Aureus, infections are common in health care settings. Many can be cured with antibiotics, but not Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, which can sometimes be fatal. Staph and MRSA spread through direct contact and through contact with contaminated items in hospitals, like various medical textiles and linens including sheets, towels, curtains and clothing. Fabric made from hemp has been shown to be naturally resistant to bacteria and able to kill strains of staph on its surface.
In 2006, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control & Epidemiology, or APIC, found almost 2 million Americans were infected annually during hospital stays in the U.S., and about 90,000 of these died as a result of infection. It also reported that more than 70 percent of the relevant bacteria were resistant to at least one of the drugs commonly used.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, while MRSA rates dropped between 2005 and 2011 by 31 percent, there were still more than 80,000 MRSA infections and 11,000 related deaths in 2011.