Under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hospitals treating patients confirmed as having the Ebola virus are advised to forgo laundering all potentially contaminated linens and discard them as regulated medical waste, according to an article on the American Laundry News website.
The CDC lists those involved in laundry and housekeeping activities as “healthcare personnel” who should follow their recommendations during cleaning and disinfection activities.
According to the article, the Association for Linen Management (ALM) reports that it obtained clarification from the CDC on several points regarding textile care management during a late August conference call.
“There should be no concerns with following normal laundering of the care provider’s uniform. If there is a breakthrough in any of the PPE and exposure occurs, the individual would report and follow the healthcare [facility’s] blood or body fluid exposure plan. The additional step would be to contain and discard the uniform exactly the same as other textiles used in that specific room,” the CDC said.
Discarding all “linens, non-fluid-impermeable pillows or mattresses and textile privacy curtains” from a confirmed infected patient as regulated medical waste will reduce the risk of exposure among staff.
Additionally, disposable materials such as “any single-use PPE, cleaning cloths, wipes, single-use microfiber cloths, linens [and] food service” should be placed in a leakproof containment and also discarded as regulated medical waste.
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