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Best Practices for Insect and Rodent Control

Laundry

Laundry may be contaminated with various body substances including blood, skin, feces, urine, vomit, etc. Disease transmission may occur if linens are shaken vigorously while they are being removed from beds and other laundry items are mishandled. This may be not only a potential patient care problem but also an occupational problem as the various linens are prepared for washing and then final processing. Dirty and soiled linens may be placed in the same laundry carts as clean linens, resulting in cross-contamination. Linens coming from isolation units are of special concern because of the high level of highly infectious microorganisms that may be present. Linens may also contain sharps or other types of equipment that can injure laundry personnel.

Best Practices for Preventing the Spread of Hospital-Acquired Infections through Laundry

  • • Use a minimum of handling and shaking when sorting contaminated laundry to prevent microorganisms from becoming airborne.
  • • Use personal protective equipment including masks, gowns, and gloves when sorting and processing contaminated laundry containing blood or other infectious materials.
  • • Do not launder at home potentially contaminated personal protective clothing or equipment including laboratory coats, although uniforms or scrubs worn in the same manner as outer clothing and not contaminated with blood or other infectious materials may be laundered at home.
  • • Change white coats frequently since not appearing dirty is deceiving and microbiological load may be considerable around sleeves and pockets. Have them laundered through the hospital because constant contact with patients may lead to cross-contamination.
  • • Provide a dirty area in the laundry for receiving and sorting and a totally separated clean area for processing and packaging.
  • • Do not leave damp laundry overnight in machines.
  • • Place all highly contaminated laundry in special bags that are leak proof and color-coded to indicate microbiological contamination, close securely, and double bag if necessary.
  • • Segregate highly contaminated laundry from regular laundry and transport by carts to the laundry facility.
  • • Do not sort highly contaminated laundry until the washing process has been concluded.
  • • Steam autoclave all laundry such as surgical drapes and reusable gowns, etc., after laundering and before use in surgical areas or other highly sensitive areas. Transport them separately to the specific areas.
 
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