Ansell Healthcare Awarded for Encore Series of Natural Rubber Latex Surgical Gloves

Based on its recent research on the surgical drapes, gowns and gloves market, Frost & Sullivan presents Ansell Healthcare Europe (Ansell Healthcare) with the "2010 European Surgical Gloves Product Quality Leadership Award" for its Encore® range of surgical gloves.

The range consists of multiple products that are customized to support a wide range of surgical procedures including specialty surgery such as orthopaedics and microsurgery.

Surgical gloves are classified as medical devices due to their patient protecting properties. Thus, their performance is measured by the effectiveness of barrier protection properties. While the heightened levels of attention towards infection control over that last two decades has seen a sharp rise in the use of natural rubber latex medical gloves, there was a coinciding rise in the reported cases of Type 1 allergic reactions. In response, manufacturers, such Ansell have heavily invested into the optimization of the production process, resulting in low protein medical gloves, as well as launched a variety of synthetic gloves. Being synthetic, these gloves do not exclude Type IV allergic reactions in some people they only reduce Type I allergies.

In terms of barrier protection, natural rubber latex compares favourably to synthetic products, and it is an environment-friendly product. Rather than advocating for a full switch to synthetic products, Ansell Healthcare follows an approach of recommended glove usage based on an appropriate assessment of the environment, healthcare workers and patients. The company's Encore® range of products provides a superior performance, powder-free solution for each category of professional use. Next to the Encore® range, Ansell Healthcare is also offering  the Gammex® PF range of powder-free surgical gloves, a series acclaimed by surgeons worldwide for its exceptional combination of protection and comfort levels.

Encore® range was designed with quality, protection and comfort in mind, depending on the specific product. Except for the Encore® Ultra, all Encore® products are all made of natural rubber latex, and guarantee comfort levels similar to those of powdered latex gloves.

"Although powder is used as a low cost lubricant that allows for easy donning, Encore® gloves have special features, such as the proprietary inner coating, that support easier donning and double gloving," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Ishe Zingoni. "The powder-free nature of these gloves and the specific formulation ensure that the risks of skin irritation, and other types of allergies, are minimized."

Specific products in the range currently include Encore® Style 85, Encore® Acclaim, Encore® MicrOptic and Encore® Orthopaedic. In addition, the company is set to introduce two more products in 2010: Encore® Underglove and Encore® Ultra.

"Customizing its products for customers' specific needs enables the company to maximize its product performance," says Zingoni. "The Encore® Orthopedic product, for example, provides extra protection through increased thickness; whilst the Encore® MicrOptic, offering exceptional high tactile sensitivity, is 20 percent thinner than the standard glove for higher tactile sensitivity."

As a further demonstration of the quality of the Encore® brand, all products under this brand have to successfully undergo stringent viral protection tests to ensure excellent hand protection.

"Ansell Healthcare prides itself for maintaining consistency in performance of its products, a significant factor that has enabled the company to establish a dominant market position in Europe over the last 50 years," says Zingoni. "This outstanding track record is a result of an embedded culture that focuses on quality excellence."

Safety is assured through stringent quality control measures and checks before the final packaging. Of all the customers or hospitals that have switched to the Encore® range of products, none have lodged complaints with Ansell Healthcare – this makes it clear that the company has achieved very high reliability standards.

Significantly, these high-quality gloves come at affordable prices, thus ensuring substantial cost savings for users. Encore® gloves do not fall under the lowest priced products of the market. However, most of the lower-priced competing products, which are available in the market often do not provide sufficient performance, standard and fit to match Ansell Healthcare's Encore® gloves. Thus, hospitals attain substantial savings by switching to Encore® products as evidenced by the high success rate of Ansell Healthcare's trials.

Based on these achievements, the Encore® range of products clearly enjoys a superior position among its competitors in Europe and is the worthy recipient of the "210 European Surgical Gloves Product Quality Leadership Award" in the surgical drapes, gowns and gloves market. Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company whose product has demonstrated outstanding quality in terms of performance, reliability, design, usability, and perceived value.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.


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