CONTAMINATED CURTAINS KILL PATIENTS

Hospital surfaces are rapidly colonized by pathogens

Environmental contamination is often the root cause of infection transmission. More action needs to be taken by infection control practitioners to protect patients from unnecessary infections, continue maximizing our healthcare resources, and conserve our limited antibiotic arsenal.

Up to 60% of surfaces in the patient environment are contaminated with HAI causing pathogens. C. diff, MRSA and VRE persist for months on surfaces which serve as transmission points between healthcare professionals and patients. Pathogens on curtains, including MRSA and C. diff, have been shown to transfer to HCP’s hands.

“HCPs and patients frequently touch privacy curtains before, during and after care encounters. This may promote transfer of bacteria to curtains”. Indeed, studies have found that curtains are frequently contaminated with potential pathogens, including VRE and MRSA. “Yet, the curtain often stays from one sick patient to the next, to the next, to the next” – despite curtains being the sixth most touched surface in the patient environment.

£1 Billion

The NHS spends £1 billion each year on treating HAIs.

100,000 patients

contract an infection during hospital stay each year.

9,000 deaths

occur annually due to nosocomial infections. Many of these deaths may be preventable by improving standards of hygiene

Linen curtains harbor pathogens

Linen curtains are a proven source of microbial contamination. They are readily colonized by pathogenic organisms: in one study, 92% of all curtains tested showed contamination within one week of hanging. These high frequency touchpoints are vectors for HAI transmission and are a proven source of infection yet they are often overlooked by infection control.

Curtains were found to be the major source of infection in an outbreak of Carbapenem-resistant Acinetobacter. and were also identified as a key factor in a GAS outbreak. Patients admitted to rooms previously occupied by infected patients have substantially greater risk of acquiring the same infection.

To improve infection control in hospitals, a more hygienic alternative to linen curtains must be considered. Alternative curtains “may provide an opportunity to avert costs related to curtain changing and linen curtain laundering, and to improve patient care by removing curtains as a potential source of infection.”

We need to address the growing problem of drug-resistant infections as the medicine cabinet is becoming increasingly bare… preventing infections is key

  • Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer

92% of curtains

contaminated within 1 week of hanging.

45% of hands

acquired MRSA after touching an MRSA contaminated curtain.

100% of hands

contaminated with C.difficile after touching a colonised curtain.

Antimicrobial Curtains: disposable antimicrobial fabric curtains improve infection control programs

Regular cleaning of linen curtains is logistically challenging. Laundered linens are also at risk from contaminants found in the laundry process itself. Disposable curtains make laundering unnecessary. 

They also provide clearer labelling, improved stock management, and faster change outs of entire hospitals. Only Hygenica IPC curtains are manufactured with a best-in-class antimicrobial fabric coated in Fantex®. Fantex® antimicrobial fabric provides the rapid Log 3 antimicrobial activity necessary to significantly reduce the risk of touchpoint surface cross contamination. They also improve compliance, labour and service efficiencies resulting in a better organized program.