Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Research

A randomized trial to evaluate a launderable bed protection system for hospital beds

Edmond A Hooker1*, Steven Allen2, Larry Gray3 and Cynthia Kaufman4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Health Services Administration, Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, ML 5141, Cincinnati, OH 45207-7331, USA

2 Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, IU Health Pathology Laboratory, 350 W. 11th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

3 TriHealth Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, 619 Oak Street, Cincinnati, OH 45206, USA

4 IU Health Pathology Laboratory, 350 W. 11th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control 2012, 1:27  doi:10.1186/2047-2994-1-27

Published: 26 July 2012

Abstract

Background

Hospital beds are potential reservoirs of bacteria in hospitals. Preventing contamination of the bed and providing a cleaner surface should help prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). Most hospital beds are cleaned between patients (terminal cleaning) using quaternary ammonia compounds (quats).

Objective

The study had two objectives: identify levels of bacterial contamination on beds (including the mattress and bed deck) and evaluate a new launderable cover.

Methods

Hospital beds on a bariatric surgery ward were randomized to either receive or not receive a launderable cover (Trinity Guardion, Batesville, IN). Bacterial counts on the surface of the mattress, the bed deck, and the launderable cover were then collected using Petrifilm™ Aerobic Count Plates (Petrifilm™, 3M™, St. Paul, MN, USA) (Petrifilm™) at three time periods (before patient use, after discharge, and after terminal cleaning). Standard hospital linen was used in all rooms.

Results

The launderable cover (n = 28) was significantly cleaner prior to patient use than were the cleaned mattresses (n = 38) (1.1 CFU/30 cm2 vs. 7.7 CFU/30 cm2; p = 0.0189). The mattresses without launderable covers became significantly contaminated during use (7.7 CFU/30 cm2 on admission vs. 79.1 CFU/30 cm2 after discharge; p < 0.001). The mattresses with launderable covers did not become contaminated (3.0 CFU/30 cm2 on admission vs. 2.5 CFU/30 cm2 at discharge; p = 0.703). After terminal cleaning, the mattress surface contamination decreased to 12.8 CFU/30 cm2 (median 3 CFU/30 cm2; SD 7.8), but the bed deck was more contaminated (6.7 CFU/30 cm2 after discharge compared to 30.9 CFU/30 cm2 after terminal cleaning; p = 0.031).

Conclusions

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