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Illness Outbreaks Linked to Hospital Linens

By Cathryn Jakicic Health Care Facilities

Facility managers have long understood the connection between occupant health  and the materials and components of institutional and commercial facilities. New research confirms that connection extends to nearly every possible item in a building.

The Clostridium difficile (C diff.) bacteria can survive on hospital bed linens, even after being washed, according to a report in Modern Healthcare. The findings offers healthcare facilities a new possible source for C diff. outbreaks.

The study looked at swatches of cotton sheets contaminated with C. diff., which were laundered with sterile uncontaminated pieces of fabric to measure the levels of contamination before and after washing. The study warned that facilities using commercial washers to launder sheets could be spreading the bacteria when washed sheets are then reused and mixed with uncontaminated sheets.

Cathryn Jakicic is healthcare industries editor of FacilitiesNet.com. For more information on hospital campuses and other medical facilities, click here.


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