What's On Your Curtains?

The Importance of Soft Surface Sanitization

What would everything else in your hospital look like if it was cleaned on the same schedule as the privacy curtains? The standard of cleaning curtains when “visibly soiled” and only after the discharge of cautionary patients ensures that there is not a set cleaning frequency. This leaves more than half of the curtains in a hospital without a cleaning opportunity at all.

Curtains provide safe harbor to the microorganisms associated with hospital-acquired infections (HAIs)

VRE Survival Lifespan:

0
Days

VRE Can Survive for 80 Days on Polyester

According to CDC reports, in the United States 205 people die each day with at least one hospital-acquired infection. The total comes to about 75,000 people each year.

“Presently more people die with a hospital-acquired infection than the total of breast cancer, AIDS and car accidents combined.” —Dr. Betsey McCaughey, founder of the Committee to Reduce Infectious Deaths

Hospitals have developed many new measures to promote cleaner and safer patient environments. One of the last standout causes for concern remains soft surface sanitization. Fabrics provide unique challenges and a perfect microbial environment containing a porous surface that retains moisture and enables protection from light sources. Unlike everything else in the patient environment, privacy curtains typically have no fixed cleaning schedule or measures that inhibit contamination from hand transfers between patients, visitors, and staff.

MRSA Survival Lifespan:

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Days

MRSA Can Survive 40 Days on Polyester

95% of curtains tested in patient areas hosted colonies of HAI-related microbes, according to a clinical study published by the American Journal of Infection Control.

• Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
• Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA)
• Clostridium Difficile (C.diff)
• Gram-Negative Bacteria (Associated with Surgical Infections)

92% of the same curtains became re-contaminated within one week of traditional laundering. The results show that not only can HAIs survive on privacy curtains, but they can reproduce rapidly in the patient care environment.

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