While changing the dressing of a MRSA infected wound, a nurse realizes that visitors in the hall can see her ICU patient in a compromised position. The nurse, with her contaminated gloves, pulls the curtain shut with a quick tug. After completing the dressing change, she straightens the patient’s bedding and gown and quickly throws her favorite role of tape back into her uniform pocket as she leaves the room — throwing her gloves into the trash.
What the nurse is not considering in this scenario is cross-contamination between the patient and all of the fabric based surfaces. Not only has she potentially contaminated the curtain and her uniform pocket with bacteria from the MRSA infected patient, but she has also taken bacteria from those fabric surfaces – often called “soft surface textiles” – and introduced them back to the vulnerable patient with a contaminated glove.
Soft surface textiles, like other environmental surfaces, play an important role in the transmission of bacteria in the healthcare setting. They have been proven to act as “fomites” where organisms can grow and multiply. Even though they constitute 90 percent of the patient healthcare environment, they are often overlooked in everyday infection prevention practices.
To keep reading this whitepaper please click here: Soft Surface Bacterial Contamination: Considerations for a Complete Infection Prevention Program