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Attends Company News

September 2010
Quality Measures and Material Innovations Help Attends Healthcare Products Maintain Its Pioneer Status in the Growing Incontinence Category.

As America's aging population makes managing incontinence more prevalent, it is ever more important for healthcare professionals to remain fully aware of the benefits quality minded adult incontinence products can provide their patients. Since pioneering the disposable adult incontinence products market in 1980, the Attends brand has continued to focus on quality, value, and reliability. In doing so, Attends gives your patients the dependable protection to live their lives with confidence while promoting healthy skin, comfort and dignity.

Maintaining healthy skin is a particular challenge for those who experience incontinence – especially for those patients who remain in a prone or seated position for prolonged periods of time. Untreated skin wounds and bedsores can become infected and are often very slow to heal. Further, eliminating some of the 257,412 preventable pressure ulcers that occur each year may significantly reduce treatment costs and associated fines, reported as $43,180 per hospital stay.1,2 In skin health, prevention is the key to better patient outcomes and reduced costs.

Exceptional rewet and acquisition scores are critical because skin redness, rashes and sores are often caused by the moisture of urine next to a patient's skin. Excess moisture on the skin surface can also lead to maceration (pruning) which breaks down its natural barriers. This can lead to the development of perineal dermatitis or pressure ulcers. Cellulose fibers in Attends products rapidly channel urine away from the skin and into the super absorbent polymer core. Attends' exceptional core design provides increased resiliency and continues to function even after multiple voids.

While the moisture is a root cause of skin irritation, this is often exacerbated by the presence of bacteria, fungi and enzymes. Healthy skin typically has a pH ranging from 4.2 to 5.6. At this range, skin has the ability to inhibit the growth of these pathogens. Urine typically has a pH range of 5.0 to 8.0 with variations generally due to diet, illness, or medications. Over time, the pH of urine on or near skin can raise its pH. The higher the skin's pH, the more likely the growth of pathogens will occur. In addition to reducing moisture, the unique cellulose fibers in Attends briefs, pads and undergarments combined with a microporous acquistion layer and super absorbent polymers promote healthy skin and helps to manage odor. This retards bacterial growth and enzyme activity, while reducing the transmission of harmful bacteria from the outer layer of skin to the inner layers where infections can occur.

Increased pH levels in urine may also result in the bacterial growth and build up of ammonia that causes offensive odors.

Attends recognizes that the rate at which urine is absorbed and the dryness of the pad surface are critical-to-quality characteristics impacting skin health, comfort, and dignity. These are commonly referred to as acquisition speed and rewet. Recently, Attends expanded their in-house lab, making it the one of the best-equipped in the industry for evaluating raw materials and testing the performance of adult incontinence products. Along with size, weight, capacity and leakage prevention, Attends monitors every production run on acquisition speed and rewet. This validates that their products meet the stringent performance requirements that have made Attends a leader in the category.

Beyond the advances in controlling moisture, Attends utilizes other material innovations to aid in product performance and the subsequent health of the end-user. The Company uses the same acquisition and rewet testing methods previously mentioned to evaluate material advancements and core constructions that may result from their continual pursuit of optimal performance. For example, many of Attend's products are now made of breathable material that allows excellent air flow to promote dry, healthy skin. And several of the Company's underpads feature embossed pattern top-sheets for improved channeling of wetness into their absorbent core. To maintain their pioneer status, Attends appreciates the need to challenge their processes and innovate their offerings. Together with Attends, Home Care Delivered hopes you and your patients will appreciate them, too.

1. Armstrong DG, Ayello EA, Capitulo KL, et al. New opportunities to improve pressure ulcer prevention and treatment: implications of the CMS inpatient hospital care present on admission indicators/hospital-acquired conditions policy -- a consensus paper from the International Expert Wound Care Advisory Panel. Adv Skin Wound Care 2008; 21:469-470, 472-478. Available at: http://www.medline.com/OpportunitiestoImprovePressureUlcerPreventionandTreatment.pdf Accessed March 9, 2009.
2. Russo CA, Steiner C, Spector W. Hospitalizations related to pressure ulcers among adults 18 and older, 2006. HCUP Statistical Brief #64. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2008. Available at: http://www.hcupus. ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb64.pdf Accessed December 18, 2008.

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