Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Levels of bacterial contamination identified

July 27, 2012

WASHINGTON — Hospital beds are potential reservoirs of bacteria in hospitals, and preventing contamination of the bed and providing a cleaner surface should help prevent healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), according to a press release.

Most hospital beds are cleaned between patients (terminal cleaning) using quaternary ammonia compounds (quats), the release stated.

According to the release, researchers have sought to identify levels of bacterial contamination on beds, including the mattress and bed deck, and evaluate a new launderable cover.

Bacterial counts on the surface of the mattress, the bed deck, and the launderable cover were then collected using Petrifilm Aerobic Count Plates at three time periods (before patient use, after discharge, and after terminal cleaning), the release noted.

The researchers conclude that terminal cleaning fails to eliminate bacteria from the surface of the hospital mattress and add that the launderable cover provides a cleaner surface than does terminal cleaning with quats, and the cover protects the bed from contamination during use, the release added.

Click here to read the complete release.