how does cross contamination of linens occur?

How We Prevent Cross-Contamination of Your Healthcare Linen

Linens used in healthcare facilities require some of the most crucial care where hygiene is concerned.

Aside from the fact that linens are constantly exposed to potentially infectious materials in bodily excretions and secretions, they are also exposed to airborne bacteria that are abundant in a room full of sick people. When worn by bedbound and sick patients, linens like patient gowns and sheets also create dark, warm and often damp areas where bacteria, virus, and harmful fungi thrive.

But ensuring that healthcare linens are hygienic and safe to use requires more than just careful and industry-certified cleaning. It’s one thing to clean linens, and it’s another to keep them clean and safe from the dangers of cross-contamination.

How Cross-Contamination of Healthcare Occurs

Cross-contamination can happen at any part of the process:

  • Changing linens at the facility
  • Storing and transporting soiled/contaminated linen items on-site
  • Cleaning and sorting  items at the laundry facility
  • Transportation and storage conditions post-cleaning

It only takes a single incidence of cross-contamination to start a major health disaster. That is why it is extremely important that your linen service provider understands where cross-contamination may occur and stops any chance of it happening.

How We Prevent Cross-Contamination

Here at Medico Linens, we don’t only ensure a top-grade cleaning and disinfecting process. Our high-quality, industry-certified practice makes sure that cross-contamination is completely avoided:

  • Soiled linens are separated and carted out in specialized linen carts. These carts are marked and isolated in order to avoid any contact with clean, sanitized linens.
  • Used linens are handled by personnel who are wearing the necessary, specialized Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to make sure that the workers are (a) not exposed to the harmful bacteria, virus, or fungi the soiled linens contain, and (b) they do not become carriers of said harmful elements.
  • The washers and dryers are disinfected between the loading and unloading of linens to ensure that the clean linens are not at risk of being exposed to the same contaminants they may have come with.
  • The newly-cleaned linens are not unloaded in an area where they may come into contact with soiled linens.
  • Washer and dryer operators do not wear the same PPE they wore when they loaded the soiled linens. They also wash their hands completely and thoroughly before coming into contact with the newly cleaned linens.
  • The washroom is constantly disinfected and sanitized, especially between loads to ensure that there will be no traces of contaminants from soiled linens.
  • The clean linens are carted in their own separate and properly-marked linen carts.
  • Next, the clean linens are handled, pressed, and sealed with plastic protective covering to protect them from airborne contaminants as well as provide necessary protection in case of contact with contaminated surfaces and linens.
  • Finally, the clean linens are delivered to the healthcare facility in cleaned, properly-disinfected vehicles.

Don’t Take Any Chances

Where health and lives are at risk, there is no room for mistakes. Contact Medico Professional Linen Service for more information on our topnotch healthcare linen service. Our HLAC-accredited, Hygienically Clean-certified linen services are all you need to get the best linens for your healthcare facility. Contact us at 213-749-4433 to speak with one of our experienced sales professionals and learn more about how Medico Professional Linen Service can help you!