HAIs/Soft Surface Contamination

What are soft surface fabrics in the patient environment?










Studies assessing contamination of soft surface fabrics


Hospital linens were identified as a vehicle that carried R. delemar into contact with susceptible patients. Rhizopus species were recovered from 26 (42%) of 62 environmental samples from clean linens and associated areas.

Duffy et al. Mucormycosis Outbreak Associated With Hospital Linens Pediatr Infect Dis J 2014;33:472-476).


79% of OR Scrubs were positive for some type of gram-positive cocci. Home-laundered scrubs had a significantly higher total bacteria count than hospital-laundered scrubs.

Nordstrom Jeanne M. et al. Comparison of bacteria on new, disposable, laundered, and unlaundered hospital scrubs. American Journal of Infection Control; 40 (2012) 539-43.

Lab Coats/White Coats

79% of white coats are contaminated with MRSA.

Osawa K et al. Significance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) survey in a university teaching hospital J Infect Chemother 2003 June; 9 (2) 172-7

Privacy Curtains

92% of privacy curtains showed contamination within 1 week of being installed.

Ohl, et al Hospital privacy curtains are frequently and rapidly contaminated with potentially pathogenic bacteria American Journal of Infection Control; Dec, 2012; 40; 10; p904-p906.


Bacteria have been shown to live for weeks and even months on cotton and polyester fabrics.

SOFT SURFACES FABRICS need to be addressed in engineering controls, which requires soft surface bacterial management to be recognized as part of a more complete infection prevention bundle.

SOFT SURFACE FABRICS need a permanent and continuous bacterial management solution.

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